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Helix students cope with virtual tests, graduations


It is the time of year when, traditionally, we celebrate. In a regular year, that means a graduation ceremony on the football field, with hundreds of family members and friends in attendance. This year is far from “regular,” but students and staff are making every effort to make sure there are still celebrations. Helix students have accomplished so much and their achievements should not be overlooked.

Hundreds of Helix students took on the challenge of taking their Advanced Placement (AP) tests between May 11 and 22. Students all over the country enroll in AP classes, which are courses designed to prepare students for the rigor of college courses. After completion of the course, students can choose to take a test conducted and graded by College Board, the entity that conducts the tests nationally. Tests are scored on a scale of one to five; those earning a score of three or better can be granted college credit, and have those courses waived at the college level.

This year’s test was a very different experience. Testing was all done online, with the students testing from home. Any work done on paper was photographed and submitted electronically. According to Helix’s AP coordinator, Helix students experienced few, if any, difficulties in adapting to the technology and the testing process seemed to go well, all things considered. Scores will be sent to students in July, and we hope the results will reflect the hard work put in by students. Congratulations to the students who persevered to not miss out on this opportunity.

In place of the annual College/Career Signing night traditionally held on stage in the Performing Arts Center Main Stage Theater, a virtual ceremony was held to celebrate our seniors and their plans following high school. Students were recognized for their plans to go into the military, join the workforce, or attend a two- or four-year college.

Helix senior class officers are leading a Senior Memory Night on May 30. The graduating class has been invited to a virtual gathering, where memories of their senior year will be shared via photos, video, and other surprises. And even though the prom was an unfortunate casualty of the shut down, the Class of 2020 officers conducted voting so that prom royalty will be crowned during the Memory Night.

These celebrations will culminate in a graduation ceremony unlike any in the past. On their previously scheduled graduation date, the class of 2020 will drive through the parking lot to accept their diplomas (no stopping, getting out of cars, or spectators will be permitted). At 6 p.m. on June 4, the Grade Level Team will host a graduation ceremony on YouTube, incorporating the traditional elements of the ceremony, such as valedictorian speeches and the tassel ceremony. We wish our graduates all the best as they go out into the world to achieve great things!

As the school year winds down, the focus turns to the 2020-21 school year. At this writing, there is quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding how classes will be conducted. School leaders will continue to work with county authorities to determine the best ways to provide students with a quality education, while keeping them safe and secure. The challenges are immense, but we will remain flexible and will prepare for as many scenarios as possible to provide seamless service to our community.

Check the school website at for the most current information regarding the status of the campus.

— Jennifer Osborn writes on behalf of Helix Charter High School.

Source: La Mesa Currier

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