What’s Going On With Anchor?

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What’s Going On With Anchor?

Kalista Martin, Reporter

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This year at Sehome there is a shift to exclusively freshmen Anchors, with 4-6 Mariner Mentors integrated into the Anchors and exclusively non-freshman Anchors. These Anchors only affect the class of 2023 but may end up affecting future classes to come.

Students in other grades may wonder about the purpose of those Anchors and how they’re different than the past Anchor model. Ms. Brewster, head of the Mariner Mentors, described the meaning of Anchor this year, “Part of the problems kids have with the transition into high school is how they don’t know people, as they are coming from three different feeder schools, so to build the connection as fast and as early as possible we have our Mariner Mentors matched with a group of freshmen. Upperclassmen are embedded into Anchor classes so freshmen can get any information right there from the mentors and build connections,” Brewster said. She also explained how after almost every year of Mariner Mentors, her mentors biggest complaint is that they rarely saw their assigned group of freshmen throughout the school year. With these two ideas of better integration and connections for the freshman class, freshmen Anchors were made. “We are trying to move the needle and trying to get kids to feel like this is their school and to get them to care for the school and those within its walls.” Brewster said.

The important part of these Anchors is the way the freshmen integrate or connect with the school and its staff through what they call the “Mariner Challenge.” Every week, there is a new challenge in which either the teachers will meet up, decide on a challenge, and spread it to their Anchors. Or, all the freshmen will meet and discuss their challenge for the week. For example, the past week’s Mariner Challenge was to have freshmen introduce themselves to the support staff, such as counselors and Ms. Simpson. Mrs. Brewster was happy to say that the lunch staff expressed their gratitude for how students came up and introduced themselves.

However, feelings are mixed from the students in these Anchors and Mariner Mentors in these classes. After speaking to a couple freshmen, it seemed as though the success of the Mariner Challenge was varied, as some classes didn’t do a challenge of the week and used class time poorly. After asking what his time in his freshman anchor was like, Zach Munson (9) said, However, when I asked about the Mariner Challenge he said he has not completed any of these challenges. “They help us get used to the transition, that’s the main thing, and getting used to high school and the workload and knowing how to talk to our teachers and make good connections.”

One Mariner Mentor, Kacie McDonald (11) explained what Anchor is like to them, “Usually we get one activity a week that we are supposed to do with our freshmen, and we will sometimes do that activity, but you kinda get to make the call. So what we do is ask the freshmen and Mariner Mentors if the activity is something they want to do or not.” McDonald then explained that the freshmen do not usually decide to do the activities, and they would rather talk with their friends or mentors.

Overall, the new Anchor system appears to be a good system to integrate the new class into Sehome culture. From the opinion of multiple students, the biggest obstacle in the way of this system succeeding is the disconnect of understanding what the point of these Anchors are.

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