Ready for LAUNCH

Taylor McGuire, Staff Writer

Things have been really difficult during Covid, especially with regards to education last year. One of the main things that remained consistent throughout the school year was LAUNCH, which is right above the library. There you will find teachers who not only know what they’re doing, they care about it too. They want students to understand the work they’re doing , not just memorize it to forget later. That is what Launch is for: learning, understanding, and asking questions. Or if you need somewhere to go and decompress for a bit, you can use it for that as well.

There is nothing like having a human resource available to help you. Whether Mr. Osborn is trying his hand at solving a math equation, or Mrs. Danyko is figuring out which stocks you should purchase for Economics, you will always have one-on-one help accessible to you at any time throughout the day in LAUNCH. Mrs. Rossi is the consistent presence in LAUNCH while Mrs. Schmettan is in charge of the PREPARE program; this new program is designed with restorative justice practices in mind. Having these safe spaces is critical for student success. Kids should definitely take ownership of their academics, but even if they’re shy, you can be sure a caring teacher will greet them and ask if they need anything as soon as they step into LAUNCH.

I had a conversation with Mrs. Rossi (the LAUNCH Lady!), and asked a few questions about how LAUNCH started and how she became so involved in it as well. Many know about POWER Time after school, another resource for students to get help. Mrs. Rossi, Dr. Thompson, and Dr. Brennan were instrumental in seeing that LAUNCH be established. The upstairs portion of the library and the outdated computer room were located upstairs before the space was redesigned into our school’s help center. The school needed to provide real-time help during the school day since many students can’t get to POWER Time after school due to other responsibilities and time constraints. Mrs. Rossi came up with the name for LAUNCH on a trip up to Washington D.C.,Learners Access Unique New Channels for Help, and was offered the opportunity to become the “Launch Lady” and a gift to so many students and teachers alike. She described it as “…a safe place supervised by caring adults who love making deeper connections with all types of learners regardless of how well they do in school.” That is exactly what it is. Hearing that as a student makes coming to school feel a lot less overwhelming; knowing I have a teacher somewhere to count on allows me to feel a lot more comfortable asking for help which they give in critical, real time. They help when you need it the most, and that can truly do so much.

Mrs. Rossi intends to continue LAUNCH to be a beautiful safe space for learners to use the staff available to them to succeed as much as they can, and as someone who goes quite often myself, it’s never failed to give me assurance throughout the day that I have somewhere to fall back on and go to when I need something. Everyone in LAUNCH is excited for anyone and everyone who allows it to be that as well.