For high schoolers and parents of students in or entering high school, it's never too soon to start thinking about classes and co-curricular activities for the next school year.
That's why Whetstone High School will hold its sixth annual Brave the Future event from 5:45 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the school, 4405 Scenic Drive.
The event is part open house, part activities fair, designed to provide information on academic programs as well as clubs, athletics and other ventures available to Whetstone students.
Brave the Future is set up primarily to serve potential students and their families, although current students and families and members of the community are invited as well, co-organizer Tasha Weaver said.
"It's a showcase of the many things that are going on at Whetstone," Weaver said. "The student population is so diverse, and there are kids with such a wide variety of interests. ... We try to provide a little taste of everything."
The event is a partnership among the school, the PTA and various booster and co-curricular organizations. Weaver has been involved both as a parent and presenter, staffing the booth for the Clintonville Go Public volunteer organization at past events.
The information can be valuable to students in the Whetstone attendance area who have either attended feeder schools in Columbus City Schools or who have attended private or religious schools but are considering attending Whetstone for high school, Weaver said.
She said students from anywhere in the district can opt to enter a lottery to enroll at Whetstone, so families "shopping" for a high school can get a sense of the programs that Whetstone offers.
"It also helps give people a sense of the community that gets built around the school, that it takes these many different kinds of students and creates a real neighborhood feeling," said Weaver, a Whetstone alumna herself.
An opening program will feature an address from Principal Janet Routzong as well as a handful of upperclassmen who will share their experiences at the school. Then, families can visit stations set up for the school's various academic departments, activities, performing arts, sports and more to see what they're about and how to get involved.
"What exists here at Whetstone is special and simply doesn't exist among high schools either in our district or beyond," Routzong said. "Our students say that Whetstone is like a family. There is something for everyone here."
Weaver said tours of the school are offered, and families also can meet with counselors to talk about course scheduling and accelerated curriculum opportunities.