LTAC graduates transition into high school

By Jacquelyn Guillen & Cecilia Hernandez

Some of them are taking physics. Some are in AP Human Geography. One of them is taking AP Biology. This will be their third year at Lane, but they are not upperclassmen. In fact, they are far from it. These students are just freshmen.

The first LTAC (Lane Tech Academic Center) class to graduate is now a part of Lane’s freshmen class. The former LTAC students entered Lane two years ago as seventh graders.   In 2011, Lane opened their doors to seventh graders who showed the potential to be more academically advanced than other students their age. Now, as freshmen they feel more comfortable at Lane and are still adjusting to high school.

Alexander Chanen, Div. 752, noticed that some of the freshmen from the LTAC do not really want to associate themselves with other freshmen since they have been at Lane for two years already. He, however, believes it is important to get to know other freshmen. His favorite classes this year are actually the ones that do not have a lot of students from the LTAC.

“We’ve been around the same 120 kids,” Chanen said. “It’s important to try to meet new people. Why not make new friends?”

Chanen and other former LTAC students were able to fulfill some high school requirements, but some of the classes they have are with other freshmen, such as physical education or geometry. Their other classes are either mixed with upperclassmen or made up of freshmen from the LTAC program. Their divisions are also made up of former LTAC students mixed with some freshmen who attended Taft’s Academic Center.

Even though Chanen likes high school, there are some things about the LTAC that he will miss. One thing Chanen will miss is the familiarity all the students had with each other.

“In English, everyone knew each other and felt comfortable speaking,” Chanen said. “Now it’s like you don’t want to talk and have all the sophomores look at you.”

Kamila Postolowicz, Div. 752, said she is glad that some of her classes do not have upperclassmen. Her physics class is made up of only freshmen who attended the LTAC with her.

“If we had to take physics with juniors,” Postolowicz said, “I would have been so lost.”

Hugh Yeh, Div. 751, feels fortunate to have gone to the LTAC, but admits the transition into high school was not the easiest thing to do for him.

“I know the LTAC staff has tried to help transition us to high school as best as they could, but I think they did too good of a job giving us a welcoming home in the LTAC,” he said.

Yeh said he was never bullied in the LTAC, but for the first time as a freshman, he was picked on.

“Upperclassmen would usually leave us alone and help us because most of us were very small. But since I started high school, I got bullied for the first time where upperclassmen would stop me from getting to class,” he said.

On the other hand, Felix Rosario, Div. 750, has not had any trouble with the upperclassmen. When he has a class with mostly sophomores and juniors, Rosario doesn’t let the “age difference” bother him.

“I don’t feel intimidated by a junior just because he’s a junior. They’re just people,” he said.

As a freshman, Rosario’s schedule consists of an AP class such as AP Human Geography, and honor classes such as: Geometry, Physics, Chinese III, Art 1, and American Literature. Rosario also plays baseball in the Junior Varsity Boys’ Baseball Team at Lane. In comparison to the LTAC, Rosario feels that his classes are definitely more challenging and his teachers have higher expectations.

“If I were to go to college this year, I would feel ready,” Rosario said. “The LTAC  and freshman teachers basically teach how [Professors] would teach in college. Most of the time, we’re teaching ourselves the material we do not get. I’m used to putting in the hard work.”

Some students feel that high school for the former LTAC students is too rigorous.

“Even though I think LTAC is great,” said Donalyn Allam, Div. 457 ,”I still wouldn’t have taken it just because for the sole reason that I want my elementary experience to remain ‘elementary’. The LTAC students deal with stress that you don’t deal with until junior year, and I feel that it’s shortening their childhood.”

While others wish they would have been a part of the LTAC.

“In a way, I feel cheated,” said Javier Delarosa, Div. 450. “If I would’ve had the opportunity to become an LTAC kid when I was in 7th grade, I would’ve taken it.”

The LTAC program is not for everyone, it is a program where only students with the strive to succeed will be successful.

“That’s why I feel fortunate that I was at the right time to be in the LTAC program,” Yovani Macias, Div. 752 said. “LTAC prepares me for college and life, and it’s up to us to figure out what to do with the knowledge.”