A teacher proposed a virtual video presentation to provide future ninth grade students with a more complete understanding of the school and help replace the shadow program, which was discontinued this year.
Biology teacher Mark Wenning was prompted to propose the video after surveying his freshmen students on the impact of the shadow program in previous years. Out of his 163 students, 37 percent said that they had shadowed and 42 percent reported that their experience had a great influence in their decision to attend. “When I found out that the shadowing program was discontinued this year, I was concerned,” Wenning said. “I think that shadowing is one of the best ways for prospective students to get a feel for the ‘Lowell Experience’.”
With principal Andrew Ishibashi’s permission, the video will include five to six five-minute segments of ninth grade classes and ten to 20 three-minute interviews with students. The videos will be shown on a web hosting service provided by one of the teachers who use it.
With a limited amount of file size and time to interview everybody in the school for a view of their life in Lowell, the video will aim to portray an accurate picture of both the good and the bad side of being a Lowell student. “The plan is to have a senior student in my reg and a couple of other students shoot for about ten minutes in several classrooms and also interview students,” Wenning said.
Senior student Nicholas Fong, who is also a photographer for the Lowell newspaper, will be taping the volunteer classroom. Students in the video will receive video release forms for their parents to sign before their class is videotaped. At the soonest the video will be finished by the end of spring to show in the next school year.
In the previous years the shadow program allowed eighth graders to shadow under-classmen and upperclassmen through all their classes in a school day. Last year the administration replaced the shadow program-which with a volunteer student-led touring program in order to reduce classroom distractions, according to assistant principal of student support services Michael Yi. “On average the class size has about 35 students, with two, three or more shadows per class,” Yi said, “that makes it complicated since there are not enough chairs for the shadows.”
The tour enables both students and parents to see the campus, unlike the shadow program, which was solely for students. While, the school tour is unable to enter classes, the school organizes classroom visits for parents and students who desire to learn more details about various classes and other extra-curricular activities as well as Eighth Grade Night where a presentation occurs in the Auditorium. “Especially now with Mr. Wenning producing some video tour of the classes we may not need to bring back the old shadowing program,” Yi said.