As the school year winds down, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR) High School students are in the process of taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams and preparing for finals and Regents exams.
May is perhaps the busiest month of the year for HAFTR High juniors. Students taking AP exams are inundated with tests one after the other. There is hardly time to breathe in between! AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP English Language, AP Political Science — too many at once! Nevertheless, it is the most relaxing feeling walking out of the test after extensive preparation by our outstanding teachers. “I am so happy to have gotten it over with. It was hard, but now we are stress free,” said junior Danielle Kramer.
Juniors are also taking SAT and ACT exams before the school year ends. All students are preparing for finals and Regents exams in June. But, at the end of the day, once everything is completed, we savor an incredible sense of accomplishment. We feel as though despite the level of difficulty, it was all worth it.
Students are eager to complete their schoolwork, and we are looking forward to an incredible summer. HAFTR students are spending their summer in a variety of different ways; students are pursuing the activities about which they are most passionate. Some are participating in science research programs or internships in various fields, while others are working in the district court, or taking pre-college or college courses. Others are working locally or in camps. After many years of looking up to their counselors as campers, it is an honor to be able to finally have campers of their own; the roles are finally reversed.
Whatever the activity, students must first finish out the year’s coursework. Students who have earned high grades this year may be eligible for several honor societies. Students who attained a 92 average in both General Studies and Judaic Studies classes are eligible for induction into the Deah Chapter of the National Honor Society. Membership in Spanish, French, and Hebrew honor societies is bestowed upon those who have done exceptionally well in language classes.
High-performing members of the Art Institute will be inducted into the National Art Honor Society. Ninth-grade students may be eligible for the Principals’ Honor Roll, and some students qualify for the Chesed (community service) Honor Society if they have gone above and beyond the chesed requirements. HAFTR requires students to have a minimum of 25 chesed hours per year; however, the majority of students go well above this requirement. HAFTR students consider it a great honor to help others. Upon opening the letter that informs us that we have been accepted to an honor society, a great feeling of awe and excitement flushes across our faces. Our hard work paid off!
Although we are excited to be done with school, there are many aspects we will miss over the summer. The first few days (maybe even the first two weeks) we are more than happy to have a break from the rigorous coursework of high school. However, after that, we begin to get eager to get back to school. We miss learning, we miss our teachers, and we simply miss the HAFTR environment. We cannot wait to return to school in the fall — even though most of us won’t admit it out loud.