The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

Editorial: A Call for More Compelling Extracurriculars

Dear Readers,
Extracurriculars—they are how we explore subjects outside of the curriculum and, ultimately, how we get into college. As most of The Chronicle’s editors are seniors familiar with Shorecrest’s extracurricular catalog and culture, we believe that Shorecrest’s opportunities are not quite up to par with those of comparable high schools.
We have 61 student-led clubs in the Upper School, but not much to show for it due to their lack of structure and consistency. Most clubs only meet occasionally, and when they host events, they often do so without a greater purpose, believing that they can forge passive meetings into something more meaningful without actually trying to—a fruitless strategy at the fault of the student body.
Extracurriculars are not meant to be amassed to simply fill blank space on a resume. They’re meant to enrich the high school experience whether that be academically, culturally, or physically. Having a hodgepodge of slapdash clubs—as many Shorecrest students do—makes it difficult to reap real value from any one of them and risks stretching students too thin.
And despite having so many clubs, Shorecrest still lacks common academic extracurriculars: Olympiads, Bowls, and Forums. In comparison, Berkeley Prep, one of our close rivals, has Physics Olympiad and History and Science Bowls among a wider range of academic competitions, such as entries into the American Rocketry Challenge. These opportunities offer tangible academic enrichment and excellent appeal on resumes. Yes, we do not have a gigantic student body—Berkeley’s Upper School has around double our student population—but we don’t necessarily need one.
Olympiad teams are recognized as being intellectual powerhouses and are ultra-competitive. A lot of rigorous preparation outside of school hours is required to perform well, but Shorecrest could put together an ambitious group of students capable of winning. All it takes is a small, motivated group of students to successfully compete for regional, state, or national recognition. In DECA and HOSA, two other respected, competition-based conferences where students pitch ideas and learn about their respective fields—business and medicine—there are opportunities for awards.
Additionally, Shorecrest lacks a Speech and Debate team in the Upper School, even though we have something comparable in the Middle School—a forensics team. Speech and Debate is one of the largest, most competitive and dynamic extracurriculars available internationally, so our lack thereof is nonsensical. Speech and Debate also increases verbal and literary competency, useful skills long after high school.
In order to make these extracurriculars possible, adequate directing and advising from Shorecrest faculty is required. However, teachers that already have full days can’t be expected to also lead these extensive activities, as they are required to teach at least five classes (compared to only four at Berkeley). Beyond increased student motivation, Shorecrest as an institution needs to demonstrate an investment in these more academic and highly-regarded extracurriculars that could very well facilitate the matriculation list in the long run.
This is not to say that Shorecrest’s existing extracurricular programs are inadequate. Students are succeeding in sports, robotics, STEAM, theater, art, pre-med programming, and GSI. These extracurriculars are enabled by the help of their coaches, advisors, directors, and peers—and sending students to elite colleges.
The Chronicle’s editors call for an invigoration of extracurricular programs at the Shorecrest Upper School that are competitive, will foster skills usable in college and beyond, and help students find activities they’re passionate about.

Sincerely,
Your Chronicle Editors

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