LIFT Returns to SHS

Academic program helps freshmen transition to SHS


SHS freshmen Kelsie Modder, Caitlin Quinlan, and Aisling O’Leary enjoy spending time together during LIFT on Wednesdays

Jane Naylor, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Dormant for two years due to the pandemic, LIFT (Learning is Fun Together) after-school program returned this fall to assist SHS freshmen with their transition to high school. Students who utilize LIFT can meet with their freshman crew teachers, study for upcoming assessments, or do their homework with the help of their teachers in the same room. Designed to offer a communal, collaborative work environment, LIFT was originally created during the 2018-19 academic year.

Freshman Crews–consisting of eight core class teachers in science, math, English, and history–created LIFT as an “opportunity to promote seeking out positive learning environments within our school community,” according to freshman English teacher Caitlin Reilly. Transitioning into high school is hard: managing homework, a new schedule, and extracurricular activities can make it difficult for students to get their work done, which Reilly understands: “Oftentimes, when students transition to high school they recognize that the school work they used to do at home, either on their beds or on the couch, isn’t getting done as effectively or efficiently.”

According to Reilly, freshman teachers wanted to bring the program back this year because they wanted to “offer a productive space that will enable students to focus on their work, produce high-quality work, and get it done in an appropriate amount of time.” Reilly also explained the positive benefits of working among one’s peers. SHS freshman Jennifer Scanlon agreed, saying she “likes to collaborate with friends” while studying for an upcoming test or working on homework.

A major advantage to the LIFT program is the students’ consistent access to their teachers. Freshman Sophie Murray enjoys the fact that there “is always one [teacher] from one subject,” referring to the teachers on the freshman crew. Reilly added that students who may forget or don’t have the time to schedule extra help with their teachers “can trust that teachers will always be available to support them on Wednesdays, regardless of whether they have an appointment or not.” Murray commented that it’s “helpful” to have LIFT after school, so she can get her work done before field hockey practice.

LIFT takes place every Wednesday in the library, from 2:50-4:00 p.m. Teachers from the program provide snacks for the students, including Tootsie Pops, lollipops, and a variety of chips. Recently, freshman history teacher Kelly Trayers brought homemade brownies, which were a big hit, receiving positive feedback from freshman students. Freshman Crew teachers encourage all freshmen to attend LIFT: Whether they are working with friends, meeting with a teacher, or simply asking a question, it is a great way to be productive after school in the presence of your friends and teachers.