Calling All Current Freshmen―Apply to L2K!


Lindsay Uba

Legacy 2000, scraping a knee, and cutting onions―all of them have something in common. Torture. Pain. Agony. Well, maybe just for the onion and your knee because L2K might not be that bad.

L2K is a STEM-based program where students explore and refine skills that are helpful to surviving outside of school, including writing, speaking, networking, and collaborating. It is a one-period elective class that is designed for rigor and . It’s currently open to incoming 9th and 10th students. With the help of current L2K students and the L2K coordinator, we review the aspects of the program, give advice, and provide application details.

Built for the Future

L2K is based on its variety of assignments that help shape students for the future, yet also allow them to explore their interests. These assignments are all weighted equally, which is great as “easy” assignments―like a simple 2-page essay―have just as much impact on the grade as the “hard” assignments―such as three-part projects or speeches. In freshman year, many of the assignments are to help students situate themselves with the program and equip them with skills for future classes. Sophomore year focuses more on teamwork as most assignments will be group-based. Notable assignments include the R&D project where teams of students will deconstruct an object and recreate something new. For the last two years, students focus more on their desired college and careers as juniors complete their 20-hour job shadow and seniors complete the 40-hour internship.

Math teacher and L2K coordinator, Mr Cianfrance, explains, “My favorite aspect of it is that students get to choose what they’re learning… so my favorite assignment is whatever cool thing that a student produces because they’re interested in it.” The main way to express interests is through logs, typically 13-page essays where students can explore an interesting topic and extend their knowledge. Many of these pages, though, go by quickly as there is much to say about a topic. Shivani P. says her favorite assignment is probably the logs as she loves “researching and writing about things I’m interested in.”

Below are thoughts from  L2K students about other assignments:

The Time Management project really put my schedule into view and helped me see what I needed to change or what was good. Another was the College Study Project as a whole. This project made us go really in-depth into college and now I know what and how to look for specifics for a college later in the future. ”

— Kaitlyn T. (9th)

The best aspect of L2k is definitely how much you get to learn. You write and research a lot and it teaches you so many things. ”

— Sanvi Tummalapenta (9th)

I found how much easier it is to pursue something when you are interested in it. I also learned that oftentimes people look for interesting and insightful content as opposed to a perfectly crafted paper. ”

— Shivani P. (9th)

Challenges with Learning & Advice

Of course, with all things, there are aspects that are… not the best―especially with L2K.

Many of the interviewees explained that the way assignments are laid out is challenging as it forces students to juggle many assignments at once. Although there are late keys that allow an extra two days for one assignment, all students only receive one per semester, and if they are unused, the student can get a reward, which is another incentive to not use the key. Below is some advice to reduce this problem:

Put away all distractions and plan out a schedule. Such as one night to work on this part, one night to find resources, etc. Another options is to ask your friends to remind you to work. Time in class should be used well, too. ”

— Kaitlyn T. (9th)

You drive your experiences through your attitude and your response to challenges. So if you have trouble with procrastination and you tell yourself that you’re bad at it, it’s going to get harder than if you tell yourself I’m not good at it YET. ”

— Mr. Jason Cianfrance (L2K coordinator)

Another challenge includes the stressful and disappointing emotions that come from completing work. This can come from procrastination and the desire for perfection, which can be extremely unhealthy. However, L2K students have the advice to make things slightly better:

Make sure that you’re giving yourself time to work on school and L2k, as well as yourself. Making time to just do something else that isn’t school work can really help your productivity and motivation. Just make sure to not put all of your time towards that because you still have work to do. ”

— Sanvi Tummalapenta (9th)

Don’t push yourself too hard. Yeah, the standards are REALLY high in L2K but prioritize yourself first. If you have to get a couple Bs and Cs here and there because you were busy, that’s fine. Don’t seek perfection, because it really isn’t real. Doing your best is enough. ”

— Shivani P.(9th)

Application Details

Due to the experiences that L2K students live through, this program not only develops skills, but develops a large community. Convinced that it’s better than a skinned knee or sliced onions? Well for current freshmen, it’s not too late to join!

On April 7 at 3:40 pm, come to A217 to write your application. There are two questions: “Why do you want to join L2K, and what do you want to gain out of this program?” and another to-be-determined question. Each response requires a large paragraph or around 200 words and the application will be graded on the following criteria:

  • Fully addresses all aspects of the prompt
  • Includes deep insight and genuine analysis
  • Provides specifics and evidence to support points and ideas
  • Is unique and authentic

Hope to see you there!

For more information…

Sophmore L2K Poster:

L2K Website (teachers, L2K assignments, additional informational videos):

L2K Website’s FAQ (application & program questions):

Email Mr Cianfrance for more information: [email protected]