Update from the Futures Lounge at OI High School

by Kate Long

Special to the Sounder

Now in our third year, the “room with the couches” is a place all Orcas Island High School (and many Middle School) students are quite familiar with. Each Wednesday, students attend “Seminars” where time and lessons are dedicated for each class to explore options and think about postsecondary plans.

Freshmen and sophomores focus on what success looks like in high school, hear from guest speakers (most recently Dr. Chris Wood and the Island House Dental team — thank you!), and learn how to explore their interests in clubs, volunteer opportunities and summer plans.

The stakes are a bit higher for juniors and seniors, especially as spring approaches for the graduating class. Upperclassmen take two field trips to tour college campuses in Seattle and Bellingham and also visit companies like Aspen Power Catamaran or the Carpenters Training Center in Burlington. The Class of 2024 spent their first high school year online during COVID and it feels a bit like a mad dash getting them over the finish line.

Still, we are posting acceptance letters on the ‘College Board’ in the Commons every week, encouraging students to apply for state and national scholarships, helping them prep for college visits, and making pros and cons lists to select which program is the best fit. In addition, we support students who will enter the workforce directly with resume workshops and workplace research. May 1st is an exciting day when we will hang the “declaration banner” in the Commons — signs created by each senior declaring their plan after graduation.

The activities in the Futures Lounge are made possible by a grant from the Orcas Island Education Foundation and private donors.

Submitted photo

Submitted photo