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New Freshman and Leadership Inquiry fosters discussion

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New Freshman and Leadership Inquiry fosters discussion

Students work during Lincoln's new FLI course, a mandated freshman leadership class.

Students work during Lincoln's new FLI course, a mandated freshman leadership class.

Hadley Steele

Students work during Lincoln's new FLI course, a mandated freshman leadership class.

Hadley Steele

Hadley Steele

Students work during Lincoln's new FLI course, a mandated freshman leadership class.

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he idea of Lincoln’s required Freshman Leadership and Inquiry (FLI) class has become controversial to the students who take it.

FLI, required for the first time for all freshman this year, is a new required class for freshman that centers on the ideas of leadership, community building, college preparation and time to study. Some students believe it has helped them adapt to the new setting that is high school, but others have found it unnecessary.

Freshman Anna Loy enjoys the class and thinks it is beneficial to her experience. “They have helped involve freshman in Lincoln activities and keep kids updated,” she says, “ if I had any questions I could ask in FLI.”

According to the Research and Development Corporation, nearly 60% of a school’s impact is due to leadership. Leadership is defined as having good leaders as teachers, and the teaching of leadership skills.

Students Madeleine Engle and Ivan X agree that the class helped them meet new people and become more confident in themselves. They came from smaller schools only knowing a couple of people, but through FLI they have made friends and learned new skills.

The FLI classes are taught by teachers who meet to talk about the curriculum and how to improve the class.

Lisa Klein-Wolf, who also teaches IB Math Studies, is teaching a FLI class this year.

“The activities are meaningful and promote a time for self-reflection,” she says, “I think that it has provided new students the opportunity to have a safe space as they transition to Lincoln.”

Jeremy Johnson, who teaches a sixth-period FLI class as well as geometry, agreed on the success and the helpfulness of the class.

“I think it allows them [students] to think about all the issues that happen in high school and around things that are available like student clubs… having counselors come in and talk about both the academics of Lincoln, but also think about college and careers afterwards.” Some students think FLI could improve.

“It should definitely be shorter,” says Riley Cash. “We spend a lot of time doing nothing, which is nice, but we could be learning in other classes.”

In spite of her enjoyment of the class, Loy also sees room for improvement.

“Other times they talk about things relating to our emotions and behavior that are kind of weird. I would prefer if they stuck to talking about college and school. There are still a lot of things they need to figure out. I think the class will get better and be more successful as the teachers become more experienced with the curriculum.”

Teachers and students are working to create a safe space through the class this year. FLI coordinator, Hanisi Accetta, explains that there are improvements to be made but she is super excited for FLI to continue next year.

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