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The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

Get an easy “A” at CHHS as a student aide

Jack Israelson
Student aides help out in numerous ways at Highland Elementary School, located right next to Columbia Heights High School.

As the 2024 school year comes to an end, Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) juniors and seniors have to start looking for jobs but need to gain work experience to aid them in the competitive workforce. CHHS Assistant Principal John Kulick has created an experience for students to do just this with the introduction of the Student Aide program, where upperclassmen can assist teachers at Highland Elementary School and earn high school elective credit. 

This leadership role provides both exposure to the work of a grade school teacher and support their fellow, littler Hylanders. So instead of having a study hall, there is an opportunity to earn an easy “A” for the students on top of their work, on track to graduation and looking for an alternative elective course.

The new CHHS Student Aide program allows students to put something down on their resume that could help them land a job while also helping students. The availability of CHHS volunteers also helps to reduce the stress on teachers’ shoulders when it comes to one-on-one help and classroom organizing. 

Kindergarten teacher Ms. Emily Hynes is just one instructor at Highland who has enjoyed having her student aide. 

“Having another person to work with students one on one or in small groups has allowed students to work at different speeds and levels,” Hynes said. 

Elementary students also get to connect with older students, allowing them to build connections and gain additional support outside of peers and their often over-burdened classroom teacher, not to mention give them a glimpse of “big kid” life at the high school. This makes it so the kids can have more opportunities to learn and grow over the year

It was a team effort where we had a high need for additional electives and the elementary [school] needed additional support [and] help in the classroom,” Kulick said.

There are some requirements that are needed to make sure that you are able to become a student aid. Some of the requirements are keeping your grades above a F, good attendance, and the ability to work hard. You are told to treat being a student aid like a job, which means communicating with your teacher that you student aid with. For example, if you are sick and staying home from school you should tell them, same with having to be late to make sure they know where they are and what is happening on your end so they are not left guessing where you are. You are also not allowed to be on your phone or have any sort of music playing in your ears, as both can cause a distraction not just for you but also the children. Your goal is to be the best you can be to help the children learn to the best of their ability.

The students also enjoy having a break from high school classes and have some time to hang out with the class that they help in. It has been enjoyable for many different students to spend time away from otherwise stressful schedules and academics.

 “I enjoy working with the kids because it’s a great way to start my day,” Gloria Knudsen (12) said. She helps by giving one-on-one with her students and helping them with handwriting. She also helps with making copies and cutting out things that need to be cut out and taken care of.

So much goes on behind the scenes that can make high school more enjoyable for students and teachers alike. With students getting to enjoy the experience that will help them with their summer job search while also fostering community, it’s no wonder that the front office is flooded with requests from CHHS students interested in becoming student aides. Here’s hoping the program continues next year!

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About the Contributors
Nevaeh Larson
Nevaeh Larson, Staff Writer
Nevaeh is a senior at Columbia Heights High School, and this is her first year on The Heights Herald. She enjoys listening to music while working and reading. She is also on the girls' swim team.
Jack Israelson
Jack Israelson, Staff Writer

Jack Israelson (he/him) is many things: a barista, youth commissioner, bowler, photographer, actor, video editor and the Vice President of GSA at Columbia Heights High School. Now, he's also a writer for The Heights Herald. He's passionate about cities and urban planning. Outside of school, Jack likes to ride his bike, play on his computer and hang out with his friends.