Open Doors to the Open House
by Gabriel Vara
Families from all over the city lined up around Northside to enter the annual open house on Sunday, Nov. 5. After waiting out in the cold in a long line that wrapped around the building, elementary school students and their parents squeezed through the packed hallways into either the gym or auditorium, where they were welcomed to Northside College Prep by Mr. Smith or Ms. Mest.
Visitors then broke off into tour groups led by Northside students from every grade level. Proud seniors and inspired freshman alike led guests around the campus, listened to department presentations, and answered some of the most frequently asked questions about Northside. Although the aspects of Northside such as Freshman Academy and colloquium are very familiar to students, these are unique factors that help set Northside apart from other schools. In addition, Northsiders emphasised the block schedule because it has a huge impact on students with a busy schedule and heavy work load.
After answering some questions, tour guides led their groups on a tour of the building. One of the first stops was the science wing, where Mr. Colin Hayes, Science Department, gave an overview of the department, as well as brief explanation of why physics is taught before biology. “Physics is pretty much the basis of all sciences you'll take at Northside,” said Hayes. From there, the group the HoofBeat observed, led by Faith Zehfuss, Adv. 904, passed the robotics team’s demonstration on their way to the math wing, which caught the eye of many students. Mr. Mark Thompson, Math Department, explained IMP and the course offerings for students of different positions. In the next two years, new courses will be introduced to accommodate a freshman entering with a Pre-Calculus credit. Looping around the south wing, the visitors dropped by the pool. The potential freshman were either impressed by the quality of the whole area, or scared of having to complete a swimming unit. Upon their exit from the pool deck, the tour groups also got to see the weight room and ping pong tables.
Along the way to the music room, the HoofBeat spoke with Mateo Cruz, an eighth grader hoping to be accepted into Northside. Cruz was amazed by what Northside has to offer. His favorite part of the day was passing by the robotics demonstration and watching the t-shirt shooting robot do circles around the pillars. Although he was a bit intimidated by the drastic transition from his middle school to high school, Cruz was optimistic and confident that he could handle the workload, stating “I’ll see you here next year” as he left Northside .
One of the last stops of the day was the music room, where the top orchestra students were performing a graceful cover of Ed Sheeran's “Shape of You.” Orchestra student Julia Starzycka, Adv. 905, said semi-jokingly, “playing that song for four hours straight gave me a blister.” After the performance, Mr. Leo Park, Fine Arts Department, gave a brief overview of the beginning music courses and the creative freedom of the more advanced orchestra classes. For most, the final stop on their way out was the lunchroom, where Northside sports teams decorated their tables with many awards.
Coming full circle back to the main doors, group leaders answered final questions and said their goodbyes. Holding plates of cookies and juice, the guests headed home, hopefully looking to return next year.