New Scholars Now Required to Submit Essay

April 18, 2018



New scholars will now be required to submit an essay during the registration process at ASK.

By Hannah Worker

The ASK Academy has been known for its lottery system of entrance into the school, but starting in the 2018-19 academic school year, new scholars will also have to write an essay upon acceptance. Students who are entering the school (including siblings and returning scholars that have previously left the school) will be required to write an essay once their names have been picked in the lottery.

Chrisanna Lane, the Attendance Specialist, is the first person to read the incoming essays. “I’ve looked at 90% of what’s come in. Most of them are from sixth grade and a little bit in seventh grade; those are the only new scholars coming in to the school,” Lane said. By reading the essays, Lane says she feels like she gets to know the kids better and sees where they should be placed academically.

So far, scholars have had no issue with writing the essay. The essay is required to be turned in with the application. However, essays are only required after the scholar’s name is picked in the lottery.  “Since they (parents) are aware of it ahead of time, I don’t think they’d would continue to submit their child’s name into the lottery if they didn’t think it was doable,” says Lane. Essays and applications are turned into Ms. Mary Lou, which then go to Lane.

Lane says that the essays will not be graded. “You’re not disqualified by this essay. This is so we can tell if you can write a sentence, if you can write a complete thought,” she said. There are five different prompts that range from grade level, meaning if a middle school scholar chooses to tackle a prompt more suited for high school, that is an option.

“You get to choose any of the topics; we just want to see if you can write an essay,” said Lane of the essay, which has a 250 minimum word count.

Over 90 scholars have sent in essays for Lane to look over. “I’m reading them as they come in but they will go to the English managers,” she said. Reviewing the essays will help place kids where they need to be and allows the school to see where they are  academically.

“It’s very frustrating when we don’t have background data to understand how well the kids do in school (prior to coming to ASK). This is one way to give our managers the knowledge they need to be ready for the next school year,”  Lane said. She has hopes that this will encourage kids and make them feel better prepared for the ASK school environment.

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