Learn About ISM

Kiara Fernando, Staff Writer

     As we enter the spring semester, it is time to start thinking about schedules and classes for the upcoming school year. Reedy offers a variety of elective courses to choose from; one of them being independent study and mentorship or ISM. 

     “The ISM program is an application class,” ISM teacher Mr. Speice said. “It allows students to decide what they want to study and they get the opportunity to spend an entire year studying that topic. We spend the fall semester learning soft skills and then in the spring the students have to find interviews with professionals in their field. They go see what that job is like in the real world and work hand in hand, one on one with a professional.”

     ISM is different from any other elective class as it offers a unique opportunity to learn about certain career related attributes. 

     “The best part about this class is the soft skills,” Speice said. “You learn how to interview, talk to people professionally, write a quality resume, and create a network of professionals that you can talk to as you move on through school, college, and your professional life.”

     Speice admits the class is “intensive” and based mostly on independent work.

     The class is viewed at preparation for college and the skills needed in the professional working world. 

     “It’s such a massive mind change,” Speice said. “It’s truly individualized in that you are responsible for your own learning and know what you need to do next. I think the hardest part for students to have all that freedom and still manage the time effectively.”

     ISM is offered for juniors and seniors and has an application process. 

     “The application process is pretty involved,” Speice said. “There are teacher recommendation forms that must be filled out, an essay, and short answer questions. I look at grades, attendance, behavior and more. I look at pretty much everything and then there’s an interview, which is the final step.”

     Grades are not everything when it comes to getting accepted into the ISM program. 

     “I think there’s a misconception that people have about ISM,” Speice said. “You have to be intelligent and hardworking but if you’re passionate about something you can study it. It is a lot of work but hopefully it doesn’t feel like work because you are passionate about what you’re doing.”

     Despite the large workload and demanding expectations, students still appreciate the class. 

     “I think it’s one of the most enjoyable classes that I’ve taken this year,” junior Divya Inampudi said. “It’s not a structured class so it’s an opportunity to do whatever you want to do, something you are really passionate about.” 

     Work is done in class throughout the week however work must also be done outside of school in order to be successful in ISM.

     “Researching is a main part of ISM,” Inampudi said. “I wrote weekly reports, assessments. That is usually your week as you’re going into ISM. It was a lot of work but at the same time I was enjoying what I was doing so it didn’t feel like that much work.”

     Senior ISM student Nicholas Hong agreed that the class is “worth it” regardless of the extensive effort that is required. 

     “The biggest reason why I like the class is because I realized all the benefits that come from it,” Hong said. “I’d say it definitely prepared me for college and the career I want to pursue.”