Due to budget cuts, the Tam High School District has eliminated the shadowing program for incoming freshman and replaced it with tours for parents and eighth graders.
Some argue that without shadowing, eighth graders cannot properly choose a high school.
“People won’t have the chance to see what Tam is all about,” said Mill Valley Middle School eighth grader Hans Piotter.
“With budget cuts came some classified cuts, including the receptionist who organized the shadowing,” said Assistant Principal Chad Stuart.
Some eighth graders are shocked by this new proposition, and it may even influence their choice of high schools.
Many eighth graders base their decision of what school to attend by shadowing. “I knew a few people that were on the fence about going to Tam or somewhere else and shadowing here helped them pick Tam,” said junior Sam Raffa.
“I think it is going to make my decision harder because I can’t have the experience of actually being on campus during school hours with a student who’s attending Tam,” said Madison Nirenstein, an eighth grade student at Del Mar Middle School.
Sophomore Izzy Dahlke, however, doesn’t think that shadowing has a very large benefit for students. “Kids that already know Tam [and come to shadow freshmen] just cause distractions in some classes, and sometimes they don’t even care enough to pay attention,” said Dahlke. “Also, teachers sometimes slow down lessons for them, which doesn’t do anything at all.”
Although the shadowing program has been cancelled, the district is offering a different method of getting to know the schools.
Stuart said, “What we do offer instead is a campus tour where students can ask questions and see what the school is all about.”
Written by Ivy Pannepacker. This article appeared originally in the January 2011 issue.