New IPS members announced

Kris Long, Opinions Editor

With the end of the year coming closer, students and teachers are planning for the changes next year will bring. As most Interpersonal Skills Club members are seniors, the change in the club will be particularly impactful.

IPS is a class that hopes to help serve the Manhattan High community and help people gain communication skills. Students must apply to join the class. The goal of applications is to limit the number of students and with that limited number create the most diverse classroom possible with students with differing abilities, races, social economic statuses and personalities.

“We really think the most important thing about IPS is that we teach people how to work together,”  lead IPS teacher Eric Eklund said.” In order to do that we need all kinds of different people so we don’t have really one criteria [for applicants].”

In order to join the class students must first be nominated. They can be nominated by teachers, friends, former IPS students or even themselves if they think they would be a good addition to the community. Students will then be given an application to fill out in order to be interviewed for the class. This year is the first year students have been required to fill out the application to join the class. It was added to the process to limit the number of interviews to students who were not committed to IPS. However, it is still an incredibly competitive process. According to lead IPS teacher Eric Eklund, there were approximately 70 applicants this year. They had to cut close to half the applicants, as the limit on the number of students accepted into IPS falls between 30 and 35.

IPS set out looking for a wide variety of dedicated students with differing skills earlier this year to make up 2019-2020’s students.

“What we really try to do in IPS is to create an accurate cross-section of a typical community,” Eklund said. “So we want all kinds of people. We want people who are really good students [and] we want people who may be struggling. We want people with disabilities, we want people without disabilities, [people who are of] different races. We’re excited [for next year] we think we [have] a really good group of kids.”