What does Oakmont think about the “Staycation”?



What does Oakmont think about the “Staycation”?
By Megan Vance and Cara Landry

Chess Master Pappas (Kyra Pappas)

As you might already know, Oakmont has put in place an alternative to the traditional April Vacation. Due to the multitude of snow days this winter, three days of the vacation have been turned into “Staycation” days. Friday will be a half day according to students’ regular schedule.

Senora Campagna
Coach Slattery: Net Master (Kyra Pappas)

Students have been given the opportunity to select four classes a day that has been meticulously planned by the staff of our school. Some examples of the options include nature activities, like hikes and scavenger hunts, indoor games, board games, role-playing games, and informational classes, like career exploration and culinary opportunities.

As part of our Intro to The Oakmonitor  block, we visited four different members of the school: two teachers and two students and picked up on their views of the week.

First, we met up with Oakmonitor staff member Sophie Newell, a freshman at Oakmont Regional High School. She told us that she has been attending these activities all week. When asked what makes a class more enjoyable, she responded, “Having a little bit of freedom, and being around your friends.”

Aazaria Santoro-Ruiz, another freshman, agreed, adding that having a teacher that is excited about what they are teaching makes it much more pleasant.  Her two favorite experiences this week have been the trail walk with Mrs. Stafford and a baking class with Dr. Stassen.

Mr. Billings, a math teacher at Oakmont, guided chess, AP Stats Review, and one of his other interests:  Dungeon and Dragons. He said he has had the most fun leading his Tabletop Role-Playing Games class. “When you’ve got kids that

Doodle Art on Staycation (Brianna Da Silva)

don’t want to leave, that want to stay past the bell, that’s when you know you’ve got a good class.”

Solo Cup Math Challenge (Mikaela Groncki)

But what makes a class better for the students? Billings had some insight: “I think as long as the students are engaged and doing something that they want to do, something that they want to come to school and do, that’s great.”

Then, we met up with Oakmont’s athletic trainer, Mrs. Borsay. She leads multiple different classes on Mindfulness. She focuses on stress and anxiety-reducing activities such as dot painting, wellness

Sewing Old School with Ms. Bergin (Kyra Pappas)

walks, and meditation. Borsay shared with us that one beneficial part of this week has been getting to know her students better than before.  “When
students are engaged, and their friends are involved, and they get along with the teacher you are able to have conversations you wouldn’t normally get to have.”

Say YES to CHESS (Brianna Da Silva)

Although this week’s Staycation has been a very unprecedented experience for Oakmont, in the eyes of those who participated in the activities, it was a great week. The personal, passionate, unique “extra” classes offered this week were not only educational but fun . . .  and a break from the norm. Shout out to everyone for all your hard work.

Problem Solving (Mikaela Groncki)
Little Crochet (Kyra Pappas)
Making Quiche with Ms. Gates (Kyra Pappas)
Techin’ Out (Kallie O’Leary)
Trout Fishing and Hunting Safety with Mr. Brunelle (Kyra Pappas)