The AP Lang class discussing the essay topics with their principle and superintendent.
The AP Lang class discussing the essay topics with their principle and superintendent.
Lindsey Trent

Influencing Outside the Classroom

The Advanced Placement Language class takes on real world problems as part of an essay writing assignment.

Before Christmas break, Julie Conard assigned her Advanced Placement Language (AP) students to write a policy change essay, allowing the students to communicate issues and concerns they have with current Rock Creek High School practices. 

These problem solution essays went through many revisions in order to meet all requirements of the essay. Conard wanted to provide students with a different audience, and wanted students to write to those who are in the position to make changes.

Some of the people Conard invited USD 323 Superintendent, Joan Simoneau, Rock Creek High School custodian, Timm Rieck, Rock Creek High School principal, Eric Koppes, Rock Creek High School athletic director, Darwen Tomlinson, and high school counselors, Kaitlin Kuhlmann and Kelli Grieves. 

Students wrote these essays with the goal of starting important conversations. Conard told the students that they had the option to put their names on their essays in case they were not comfortable. 

Topics varied from more electives for students, social emotional learning (SEL), seniors privileges, and even parking lot safety.

One writer, who would like to remain anonymous, wrote about adding more electives for students and said that “Adding a wider variety of electives that help students engage in their interests or passions would be a good way to get students involved in school, and maybe even excited to go to class”. 

After meeting with Rock Creek High School seniors to discuss essay topics and concerns of the senior class Simoneau made sure to inform the seniors that, “Our office is always open to you if you have something that you want to talk about” 

Students expressed gratitude for the opportunity to express their opinions and concerns. Although students felt that their words were acknowledged, they also felt that  nothing will be done due to lack of resources in District 323.

Conard plans to have next year senior AP Lang students write policy change essays again. She wants to continue this because she feels that when students get to choose something they are passionate about to write an essay over, it leads to better writing.


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