Issue 26 | September 28, 2012 | What's Up With the Phones?
Some of the opportunities home schoolers find for learning are unique and far-reaching. It seems when we learn about one through other students, we should let you know so you can investigate the possibilities in your area. Read about one student who has benefitted greatly from mock trial competitions in Massachusetts for a number of years.
Also, an update on something addressed in a previous newsletter: The opportunity for NARHS families to get a regionally accredited transcript!
INSIDE NARHS: What's going on with the phones?
For a couple of days now, you may have experienced some troubles calling your advisors. This is because on September 26, we migrated to a new phone system, and, of course, the switch came with its share of "bugs" to work out.. We did this in order to save some money (and thus keep tuition from going up) and because we were finding that our previous system was not providing us with the quality we look for when we need to speak with our families, or vice versa. As a result, for much of Wednesday and Thursday there may have been interruptions in service. We think we have this mostly taken care of. The other thing that goes along with the change is that people's extensions have changed. Here is a handy list:
Stephen & Katie Meinzinger:.....26
Maureen Martin is still at her previous phone number: 207-778-3545
Please remember that if you know who you are trying to reach, you can always enter their extension at any time while the attendant message is playing.
FEATURED STUDENT: Elizabeth Hussong
In Elizabeth's portfolio this year was a public speaking course in which she participated in a mock trial; the preparation for this took several weeks, thus earning a full credit. So I asked her to describe the experience and the process.
Elizabeth explained that once the team of students is determined, case materials, which describe details needed by the trial participants, is given to each team member to study.
Team members become familiar with the facts and figures of trial data, so that they recall it quickly during the actual event. From there, it is the responsibility of team members to study laws which pertain to the case in point. The average citizen would not necessarily know where to begin with such legal studies, but for these students, an attorney is appointed as a coach who provides access to necessary books and helps them study applicable cases from the past. Over a period of time, team members develop a well-substantiated point of view that they must present and defend in a court of law presided over by a real judge.
On the appointed trial day which occurs somewhere between late January to early March, wearing business suits, two teams are ready to present opposing views on the case in point. Other students take the place of witnesses and the defendant. Both teams present their side to the judge, call witnesses, cross-examine and finally rest their case. Usually, before two hours is passed, the judge has made his decision on which team was more convincing. The competitions between various teams continues for about six weeks in Massachusetts culminating in a state winner. The state winners go to a national competition in May.
This year will mark Elizabeth's fourth participating in the mock trial competitions in Massachusetts. She started as a junior member of the team in her freshman year. Now, with years of experience under her belt, she will be a senior member, responsible in part for the training of younger team members on how to carve out a winning argument during the court proceedings.
According to the Massachusetts Bar Association, the purposes of the Mock Trial Program are to further students' understanding of the law, court procedures, civil liberties and the legal system. They also hope to increase students' proficiencies in listening, speaking, reading and reasoning. Ultimately, they hope to promote better communication and cooperation between students, schools and the legal profession, while at the same time heighten students' awareness of law-related professions.
For more information on the Massachusetts mock trial competitions, visit this website: http://MockTrial.MassBar.org