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A Look Ahead: Upcoming Events—The Final Few Weeks

A poster in the main office advertises the upcoming production of “Radium Girls” by the WISH Academy theater program.

WISH Academy—With Summer Break fast approaching, many of the semester’s activities are beginning to come to a close. However, much remains for students to do and enjoy as we reach the culmination of an eventful school year. Here’s a look ahead to what’s in store in the final 7 weeks of the 2023-2024 academic year.

One of the most hotly-awaited events of any high school year is Prom, and the WISH Academy ASB is confident that this year’s will be their best yet. The “Masquerade Ball”—themed formal dance will welcome juniors, seniors, and guests on Saturday, April 27th, from 7 to 10:30 p.m., at the Shay, a modern hotel on the border of Culver City’s Downtown and Arts District. The last day to reserve tickets is Monday, April 22nd, and students must first submit a digital or paper permission slip. Tickets, which had been sold for $10 off if purchased early, now cost $150, which includes a full dinner service, dessert, drinks, and offerings such as a photo booth. ASB and a dedicated committee of parent volunteers have been working to plan the details of the event and prepare its decorations, including dedicated artworks by staff parent Lynda Modaff, for months. The seniors of ASB, led by ASB President Gabriel Koppula, have done much of the planning and have also dreamt up a number of fundraisers to support the event.

At the time of publication, Prom is less than a week away, and ASB has collaborated with the Black and Brown Student Union (BBSU) to plan the Prom Spirit Week to spread the joy of the event. The spirit week days are Pajama Day (Monday, April 22nd), Twin Tuesday (Tuesday), Meme Day (Thursday), and ‘90s Day (Friday). There will be no school Wednesday, April 24th, in observance of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, a state holiday.

At the same time, ASB has also been working with the administration to plan WISH Academy’s annual Service Learning Assembly. Every year, all three WISH schools hold assemblies around the end of the Quarter of Service (the third quarter of the school year) to honor the students, staff, parents, and outside community members who dedicate their time, effort, and resources to community service. The assemblies are part of WISH’s long-standing emphasis on service and service learning both within WISH and in the broader area. This year’s Service Learning Assembly is still in the works, but it is expected to take place in the next few weeks. Students should submit their service hours through MobileServe (check) as soon as possible for a chance to be honored at the event.

Also fast approaching is WISH Academy’s final theater production of the year. Their first on-campus show of the year will be “Radium Girls” at the Social Hall on Thursday, May 2nd at 6:30 p.m. “Radium Girls” covers the women who worked long hours painting watches and other items with glow-in-the-dark radium paint in the early 20th century—until it was finally admitted that the radioactive paint was a deadly poison. The play will feature some of the most advanced production techniques seen by the school to date, and it will culminate a busy year for the theater program. Theater teacher Ms. Landon secured a $50,000 grant for improvements over the summer, and recent months have seen successful performances of “Sing Ho for a Prince,” a series of vignettes for the fall 1980s Concert, and the musical “Into the Woods.” Students have also taken home medals at multiple Drama Teachers Association of Southern California (DTASC) competitions as recently as last weekend.

The last few weeks of the school year will be a busy time for many students, especially those with back-to-back end of year tests coming up. State testing begins next Monday, April 29th, for juniors and seniors; students should look out for any announced changes to the schedule for that week and next week, Math and English SBACs (11th grade) and science CASTs (12th grade) will spend a chunk of each day testing.

AP students will know that their AP exams, determining eligibility for potential college credit, are also coming up the two weeks after that, from Monday, May 6th to Friday, May 17th (CHECK). Popular AP exams at WISH Academy include U.S. Government (May 6th), English Literature (5/8), U.S. History (5/10), Calculus AB or BC (5/13), English Language (5/14), Computer Science Principles (5/15), and Music Theory (5/15). Of these, only Computer Science Principles and Music Theory will take place at noon, with the others scheduled for 8 a.m. each morning.

Finals Week for WISH Academy classes will take place the following week, from May 20th to May 24th; more information about class finals is expected to be announced by teachers over the coming weeks, but students should prepare to be assessed on what they’ve learned over the last year or semester.

Students perform at LMU’s Murphy Recital Hall last year as part of the High School’s WISHapalooza festivities. A similar performance will take place this year on May 24th.

But while students should prioritize being well-rested and prepared for the exams, there will still be more to do as the end of the year approaches. Many students in music classes will be preparing for the WISH Academy music department’s spring concert, which is scheduled to take place on the evening of Friday, May 24th and will feature performances which many of Mr. Illko’s music classes have been working on all year. The concert will be part of “WISHapalooza”, WISH’s annual TK-12 spring event showcasing student projects and performances.

Students in spring sports will also be busy, with Boys’ Volleyball, Baseball, Beach Volleyball, Swim, and Track games ongoing on campus or around the city. Students are encouraged to look out for more information on upcoming sports events to attend to honor the many athletes who have been representing WISH Academy this semester.

But the end of the year will be most momentous for the Class of 2024, WISH Academy’s fourth-ever senior graduating class. Seniors can expect an array of events as graduation approaches. A college acceptance celebration will take place on Friday, May 17th. On Thursday, May 30th, graduating seniors will take part in a Cap and Gown Procession at WISH Elementary to inspire WISH’s youngest generation of students. Then, on the night of that Sunday, June 2nd, participating seniors will spend their Grad Nite at Disneyland, departing from WISH Academy at 8 p.m. and returning well after 2 a.m. Monday morning for their final week of school. Graduation dress rehearsal is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5th, and graduation itself will take place on the last day of school, Friday, June 7th, at the Central Park bandshell in Playa Vista, beginning at 6 p.m. Each student will receive four tickets for family members to be seated in chairs, and room for a blanket to seat about 6 more. There will also be overflow seating available further away. With the departure of the Class of 2024, the final cohort of students present in the TK class of WISH Elementary at the school’s 2010 founding will have completed a full TK-12 education at WISH Charter and move on to new horizons.

June 7th will cap off what has been a busy year for WISH Academy students and staff. We hope you enjoy what remains of the school year until then; following Summer Break, WISH Academy will return to school on Monday, August 12th.

~ Nicholas Steinman

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