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The Split-Enrollment Experience

Split-enrolling brings a lot of challenges, but provides a unique schooling experience unlike any other.
Shayna+Simon-Jaimon+rides+the+city+bus+to+Huron+High+School.
Kaylee Gadepalli
Shayna Simon-Jaimon rides the city bus to Huron High School.

First of all, what is split-enrollment? Part of Community’s “alternative” identity is that many of its students choose to take nontraditional classes. These include college courses, CRs, and taking classes at another high school, which is known as split enrollment. This is also referred to as “splitting”.

Those who split enroll consider themselves students of both schools they attend, but typically take the bulk of their required courses at their primary school. Most students pick one or two classes to take at their secondary school that they can’t take at their primary. This could be an IB course, music class, or something similar. For example, a student might take the bus to CHS in the morning, where they have blocks 1 and 3, split to another school for an AP course and DP class, and then finish out the afternoon running for a school cross country team. Students at CHS don’t have those AP or IB choices, and there are no sports to participate in, which makes split enrollment an appealing option to some.

A big element of split enrollment is transportation. Some students drive themselves or friends, while others get rides from their parents. Many of the students who split rely on the city bus, commuting alongside people from all walks of life. Whether pouring rain or sunny skies, students must brave the ride every day as they walk to and wait at the bus stop. Those who take the bus together every day feel a sense of camaraderie, and taking the city bus is a great way to meet other students and increase responsibility.

There are a couple of drawbacks to split-enrollment. It’s difficult to manage conflicting schedules and schoolwide events, while also keeping up with an ever-changing calendar. Going to one school means you’re always missing something at the other, and the weather can be a terrible obstacle. You alone are responsible for managing your time and transportation, and it’s your job to stay on top of happenings at both schools. Investing in a good pair of shoes is essential with all of the walking you’ll have to do. There will always be an opportunity cost with every choice you make, and you might not be able to commit to things because of travel or time.

If there are so many negatives, why do people split-enroll? It’s simple. They feel that it’s the right choice for them and this can be for several reasons. Split-enrolling at another high school affords students opportunities like specific classes, different types of courses, and access to clubs and extracurriculars.

Shaya Simon-Jaimon is a freshman who is split-enrolled at Community and Huron High School. She always wanted to be in a high school choir, so when she saw that Community didn’t have one, she decided to decide to split to Huron, which is her home school. Difficulty with scheduling led to her taking a history class at Huron as well, making up her 6th and 7th-hour blocks.

“The differences [in the schedules] are kind of confusing, especially if you have to miss days,” Simon-Jaimon said. “It’s more work and I have to make up for stuff.”

Always coming and going can take its toll, especially when all of your friends stay exclusive to one school. It’s easy to feel left out when you have to miss some of the events that typical high school students get to do, like big assemblies and after-school clubs. Despite this, Simon-Jaimon is happy with her choice and doesn’t regret choosing to split with Huron. She’s grateful for having a supportive forum leader and getting to meet other forum members who also split-enroll. Simon-Jaimon feels connected to CHS and considers herself to be more of a Community than a Huron student.

“It’s never going to be an even split; I am a Community student,” Simon-Jaimon said. “I like what Community brings to its students. The two classes that I have [at Huron] feel the same as if I would be at Community.”

The biggest challenge is just setting up your schedule. For those who already have a class in mind, it’s all a matter of finding a block that works for you and slotting it in with the rest of your required classes. But when your courses don’t fit perfectly, it takes a lot of work to create a cohesive schedule that will set you up for success for the rest of high school. CHS’s counselors, Brian and Kelly, are the two best people to talk to about scheduling concerns. They’ve been doing this for a long time and will work to give you the best course load possible. When all else fails, Simon-Jaimon recommends trying to find a workaround.

“Summer classes are always an option,” Simon-Jaimon said. “So like, I want to do P.E., but it won’t fit into my schedule. Taking one semester of P.E. is all we need at Community, so it’s perfectly fine to take it over the summer or online. Always think outside of the box, because it’s what you want in the end and it’s your education.”

For those considering split enrollment, it’s important to weigh a few factors. Having some level of comfort with travel and responsibility is necessary, and so is knowing that you have to honor any commitments you make. If you want to take a certain class, take a chance on it and be open to new experiences. In the end, you may find where you were always meant to be: not solely at Community, and not at another high school—somewhere in between.

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About the Contributor
Kaylee Gadepalli, Journalist
Kaylee Gadepalli is currently a sophomore at Community High School. In her free time, she can be found practicing violin, listening to show tunes, and playing with her dog. She also is also an avid reader, Netflix binge-watcher, and frequent doodler. This is her first year on staff, and she is looking forward to working on The Communicator.

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