AGE block seeks to unite each class

Dan Malloy

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For one hour a month, grade levels will come together and focus on grade-level issues.

Taking place the last week of every month, the AGE block is time built into the calendar for each grade level to meet with their Academy Leaders. The first one will take place on September 27, and there will be eight total during the year.

The AGE block will take place during the activity slot (9:10-10:10am) of an activities schedule the last week of each month according to Assistant Head of School for Academics Mr. Patrick Sillup.

“The AGE block is an opportunity for grade levels to come together to attempt to hit the center of the Venn Diagram which is represented by Augustinian, Globally Aware, and Entrepreneurial. I don’t know if we give guys enough opportunity to do that collectively,” Sillup said.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“[Being Augustinian] has been what we have historically been about, and I think we have forgotten that in the last five years,” Rawlings said. “I think a part of the AGE block is claiming our identity that has become clouded.” 

-Mr. Mike Rawlings[/perfectpullquote]

Each grade is doing something different for the assembly schedule, and each set of Academy Leaders run it. Each grade has a team of faculty who plan each element of the block.

For the ninth grade, Academy Leaders Mrs. Sue Giordani and Ms. Jackie White placed math teacher Mr. Michael Rawlings as the point person for the first AGE block. He plans to emphasize the “Augustinian” portion of the AGE acronym.

“[Being Augustinian] has been what we have historically been about, and I think we have forgotten that in the last five years,” Rawlings said. “I think a part of the AGE block is claiming our identity that has become clouded.”

Rawlings plans to include an activity called, “Take A Stand.” This exercise will have students physically line up on a spectrum of where they stand on a certain issue, then debate on the issue. The plan is to have an Augustinian-like discussion, where discussion is free and open, but with respect for all facts and individuals involved.

The tenth grade will be focusing on digital portfolio creation for the year according to tenth grade Academy Leaders Ms. Lauren Lesch, math teacher, and Mr. Matthew Boccuti, science teacher.

“We are laying out this idea of telling their own story, like what’s their academic history, what’s their experience with extracurriculars, with athletics…Whatever their experience is in their high school career, we hope to tell their story in this portfolio,” Lesch said.

Lesch and Boccuti hope to have each tenth grader have a rough draft of their digital portfolio by the end of the year. They said having a portfolio is a useful tool to show to colleges, employers, athletic coaches, and more.

“You can think back throughout your academic career. You probably don’t do much of collecting and collating and threading together of your school experiences, so we want to do is have some dedicated time to that. So by your senior year, you now have this legacy of your time here that you can cleanly and neatly give to someone for an internship or a college admissions department,” Boccuti said.

The eleventh and twelfth grades will be working together for the first two AGE blocks. According to twelfth grade Academy Leader Mrs. Harriet Lappas, the focus will be Christian Service.

“We’re going to do Christian Service share outs because the seniors just went on their trips this summer and the juniors will be choosing their trips,” Lappas said.

Lappas said for the first AGE block, each Christian Service group who went this summer will go up and give a presentation on their trip to the juniors to help them choose. Next, the juniors will select their Service trips in October. At the second AGE block, which is the end of October, the juniors will listen to the seniors who went on their respective trip speak about it in groups.

Senior Pat McNally likes this idea to help the juniors.  

“When I was deciding which trip to go on last year I ended up just asking my friends what trips they were going on because I didn’t know a lot about each trip,” McNally said. “I feel like these meetings will help the juniors get a better idea of what each trip is like.”

Eleventh grade Academy Leader Mr. Jay Rogai said the first two AGE blocks are planned, but they are still planning a general direction for the six other AGE blocks. He also said topics for AGE blocks could be shifted depending on current issues within the school community.

“Some things may change if there is a need,” Rogai said. “For example, last year when there was imagery around campus that was clearly offensive, if there was a need to have that type of conversation with a class, we might just can what was planned and go forward with a plan that is meaningful and impactful.” 

Senior Nick Villano likes the idea of the AGE block, only if it is accepted and implemented well by the school and students.

“I would like to see an AGE block used to make students aware of important upcoming events related to our graduation and certain events which take place during the senior year,” Villano said.

Lesch thinks the AGE block will be much more relatable to students rather than a traditional full-school assembly, and hopes students feel the same.

“When we met for assemblies, we met as a whole school,” Lesch said. “So, I feel like they can see we are really trying to tailor things to what they need.”

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What did students think of the first AGE Block?

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Cormac Delaney ’21

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CK Mao ’20

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Kyle Faggiolli ’20

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