Outside perspective of ASL from new students

Being a new student in a new school can be very hard. Even though most students at ASL were new at some point, sometimes people forget what it’s like to be new. 

Fifth-grader Carolina Garcia, sixth-grader Paulina Reznikova, seventh-grader Ela Gulener, and eighth-grader Aaron Stephen (photos by Catherine Fennelly).

Fifth-grader Carolina Gracia came to ASL from a private international school in Brazil, that is much smaller than ASL. She says that she thinks that this is an amazing school because it’s a place where no one judges anyone, and everyone helped her feel welcome and settle in. 

Paulina Reznikova, a sixth-grader who before this year was at a public school in Livingston New Jersey, said that this school is very different from her old school as it was way smaller, as it was “a combination between lower and middle school” and there were only about 75 people per grade. She believes this school’s teaching is better, as they vary things year to year when at her old school they learned the same things year after year. At ASL though, she loved how everyone welcomed her, and she always had someone to go to each class with, to help her settle in.

New eighth-grader Aaron Stephen was also originally from New Jersey but lived in Seattle, Washington before coming to ASL. He was in a public school in both places, and both of them were smaller in size than ASL now, though they had many more students.

Ela Gulener, a new seventh-grader who was originally from a small private, international school in Turkey (with an American based curriculum) thinks that the school should make a map for the new kids because our school has many places to go that she has gotten lost multiple times in the first few days. However, she felt very welcomed and has settled in well throughout the first few months.

While these new students are very happy at ASL, they have some suggestions on how to make the school a better place. For example, Gulener thinks that seventh-graders should be able to use their own phones and bring their own laptops because seventh graders are older and they are between the ages of 12/13 and able to handle more adult things. 

Stephen would want this to be an unbiased school and let politics and school stay separate.  He likes ASL as a whole but thinks it is way too focused on pushing a liberal agenda. On the other hand, his old school teachers “never mixed politics with their teaching, because it was a public school, politics was never a big part of it,” he says.  “A lot of the teachers mentioned that you can’t impart political views on students, so there were never any posters boosting political or religious beliefs.”

School spirit wise, Garcia thinks an idea that ASL could try would be having a spirit week around Halloween, where different grades can offer different themes 

Throughout the four new ASL students experiences, there are many things that are loved, although there are others that the students feel ASL could work on as a whole. 

About Laila Taraporevala ('26)

Staff Writer

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