The Roots of LSQC’s Senior High School

By Josemaria Alipio

K-12 and the Senior High School’s Raison d’etre

As defined in the Department of Education’s (DepEd) official website, senior high school includes Grades 11 and 12, serving as the capstone of the K-12 Curriculum. It is expected that learners will be better prepared in the four following areas: employment, entrepreneurship, additional technical-vocational training, and tertiary education.

According to DepEd, one of the primary reasons behind the additional two years is bringing a competitive Philippines to the international community with respect to the education sector. Besides the Philippines, there are only two other countries in the world with only 10 years of basic education: Djibouti and Angola.

A relatively short basic education can have long-term repercussions in the future for learners seeking employment. For example, there are certain occupations abroad, particularly in the corporate setting, that require at least 12 years of pre-university education. The former curriculum with only 10 years of basic education would have prevented learners from pursuing occupations with the said 12-year prerequisite.

LSQC’s Preparations for Senior High School

The school’s preparations for the great sea change in basic education began in 2014. To systematically lay down the foundations of the K-12 Curriculum, and eventually the SHS program, in LSQC, transition management committees were formed.

According to Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs (APAA) Cecilia Toledo, the most daunting challenge faced by the school was selection of a venue for the SHS Program. At the time, space constraints made it unfeasible to offer all four strands of the Academic Track, let alone all four SHS Tracks.

Nevertheless, despite the limited space available and relatively short transition time to the new curriculum, the school received DepEd’s nod to offer two strands under the Academic Track for the pioneer Grade 11 Batch: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and General Academic (GA).

The classrooms of the said batch were located on the third floor of the Magnificat Building. Dissimilar to the JHS setup, the SHS classrooms included long tables that could accommodate four students, refurbished floor tiles, and Internet access. On the same floor as the classrooms, SHS learners also had a dedicated Org Room used for organizational management or work.

Major renovations to the high school library were also carried out in anticipation of the SHS Program. The SHS Discussion Room was placed within the library, serving as a venue where SHS learners complete research papers, conduct interviews, or hold meetings.

In a survey conducted by the office of the former High School Principal Arlyne Hope Blanco, STEM was the most popular strand among the Lourdesian respondents. However, GA was also offered by the school for the Grade 10 completers who were still undecided in their college course.

Lourdesian Leadership Empowerment Activities Program (LLEAP)

The LLEAP is a system unique to LSQC SHS which intends to hone leadership, organizational ability, and people skills of SHS students through participation in organizational activities.

Created by pioneer SHS Coordinator Marvin De Pano in S.Y. 2016-2017, the LLEAP was implemented to afford learners a preview of actively participating and leading in college organizations. In its maiden year, the LLEAP saw Grade 11 students from the academic strands STEM and GA forming their respective organizations: IMSGuild and GenAdSoc.

Immersed in strenuous and back-to-back activities as part of the training, the Grade 11 students spearheaded activities such as in-campus variety shows (Patalasan 2016), interschool competitions (Interschool Quiz Bee 2016), a Hunger Games-themed overnight camp (Read Camp 2016), and a Harry Potter-themed fundraising bazaar (SHS Org Bazaar 2016).

On Offering Other Academic Strands

It was in February 2017 that LSQC had formally submitted its application requirements to DepEd  to offer additional strands Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM) and Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) strands. This was followed by the visit conducted by DepEd officials last April 10.

By May 11, the school received the government permit “pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 9155 and Republic Act No. 10533” from DepEd, thereby authorizing LSQC to offer ABM and HUMSS starting S.Y. 2017-2018.

SHS Pioneer Batch

73 Grade 12 students compose the first or pioneer batch of senior high school graduates last April 28, 2018 at the LSQC High School Auditorium. 33 students from the General Academic Strand and 40 students from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Strand were conferred the secondary education diploma for completing six years of prescribed education. Rector Rev. Fr. Alberto S. Poblete, OFM Cap. confirmed their graduation in the presence of the LSQC administrators, faculty, non-teaching staff, parents and guests. With High Honors awardee Josemaria Alipio delivered the response of the graduates.