A look into ALARP Corren tipton

What is ALARP?

Advanced Language Arts Research and Presentation (ALARP) is a class unique to Rockwood School District. Though a demanding course, many who take ALARP say it’s beneficial to them through the emphasis on presentation and research along with the common Language Arts curriculum.

“[ALARP] is basically honors language arts with a semester long research project,” freshman Linzy Cruzen said.

There are two courses: ALARP I and ALARP II, which are occupied by freshmen and sophomores. However, sophomores are able to enroll in ALARP II if they are not in ALARP I.

What does ALARP do/consist of?

According to ALARP teacher Jennifer Ingram, the students do about 10 presentations throughout the year, ending with a big presentation where students can go in-depth on a topic of their choice.

Freshmen presentations are around 25-30 minutes, and sophomores can present for up to 45 minutes.

They will occasionally collaborate on group presentations, as well.

A Brief History of ALARP

ALARP used to be called Civilization Language Survey (CLS). Eventually, the program died out for roughly a year. It then reemerged as ALARP.

One of the original ALARP teachers was Diane Tinucci, but has since retired. Jennifer Ingram and Dawn Indelicato-Faw are the current teachers.

Who are the ALARP teachers?

ALARP teacher Jennifer Ingram

Jennifer Ingram took ALARP in the mid 90’s, when the class was referred to as CLS. She came to Lafayette in 2010 as a language arts teacher. The 2018-2019 school year is Ingram’s third year of teaching ALARP I.

“There was an opening [for a teacher], and it seemed like a fun program,” Ingram said.

ALARP teacher Dawn Indelicato-Faw

Dawn Indelicato-Faw taught language arts for one year at Lafayette before transferring to ALARP. The 2018-2019 school year is her 15th year teaching ALARP II.

Librarian Nichole Ballard-Long

As ALARP students are constantly researching and presenting, the library has many resources the classes can utilize.

“Just being [in the library] and coming to ask for help, we see a lot of individual kids,” Ballard-Long said.

Ballard-Long helps with the classes in many ways, such as helping them find resources, crafting theses, grading annotated bibliographies and being a juror for the final presentations.

“I enjoy helping kids find resources and pick topics they are passionate about. I enjoy watching the process and seeing the end result as well as how students grow and change,” Ballard-Long said.

What does ALARP offer?

“There are so many skills that transfer over to success in college,” Ingram said.

The students are required to do a lot of independent research outside of class. They also have access to a wider variety of resources and learn how to properly search for sources, check for credibility and cite them.

“I love the challenge that [ALARP] presents to our students, and I absolutely love judging the presentations. I enjoy being a learner and there is not one presentation I have walked away from without learning anything,” Principal Karen Calcaterra said. “It’s a great program supported by great teachers and students.”

The Community

“The community is what I enjoy most about ALARP, because if something’s up, we’ll have each other’s backs,” Cruzen said.

Various ALARP teachers and students said the ALARP community has close ties with one another.

The teachers also see a connection in their classrooms.

Ingram said she sees her students bonding throughout the semester. When the class works on group presentations, the students are able to work together and show support for each other.

“There’s a sense of family in ALARP classes,” Indelicato-Faw said. “There’s lots of support between students and they communicate well.”

A Student's Take: Linzy Cruzen, Freshman

ALARP consists of a typical language arts curriculum as well as about 10-15 presentations throughout the year. Most of those presentations can range anywhere from five to ten minutes, whereas the end of semester presentations can be from 25-30 minutes.

“ALARP definitely helps me on the presentation aspect, and I know the librarians really well,” Cruzen said.

However, the classes still have fun. They have parties to celebrate project landmarks and occasional holidays. The fourth hour class made t-shirts, as well.

A Student's Take: Vikas Devulapalli, Sophomore

Devulapalli took ALARP 1 as a freshman and is currently in ALARP 2.

“At first, ALARP 2 isn't that different than ALARP 1. [Second semester] is a lot more literature heavy, while in ALARP 1, research is the main focus,” Devulapalli said.

Devulapalli also strongly advises against procrastinating. ALARP offers a greater workload, and it’s important to manage time in order to get everything done and still have spare time.

A Student's Take: Emily Dobson, Senior

Since ALARP takes the place of a regular language arts class, ALARP teachers are still required to include the language arts curriculum.

“In class, it was mostly focused on the language arts part, and we had to do a lot of research on our own. It’s hard to describe because it pushes the limits of all the students but ultimately is very rewarding,” Dobson said.

The most challenging part for Dobson was learning how to manage her time and getting enough sleep.

One of the major benefits of ALARP includes is preparation for future presentations.

“The biggest thing is that I am always very well prepared for any and all presentations that might be assigned,” Dobson said. “After ALARP, the 5-10 minute presentations we are normally assigned are nothing to freak out about, which is a nice feeling.”

Art by Corren Tipton

Summer Information Meeting

In early May, there is an info meeting for future ALARP students to attend. The meeting encompasses a general overview of the class as well as a panel of current or past students to share their experience.

The librarians are also able to give students a glimpse of the resources they will have access to.

Even for those who are not yet committed to joining the class, the meeting is available to anyone interested.

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