'CHS for a Day' Invites Public to Sample Life of High School Student

Classes will be in session at Columbia High School on Saturday -- for members of the public who want to sample the high school's curriculum. (Photo: Caitlin Carroll)

MAPLEWOOD, NJ – Once students graduate from high school, few ever think that they’ll go back.

But at Columbia High School, the Achieve Foundation is hoping parents and community members will be interested in just that: Going to high school.

On Saturday the school, which serves Maplewood and South Orange, will host “CHS for a Day,” a program that allows parents and adult community members to take up to four classes offered by the school and taught by the teachers, as well as to have lunch in the Cougar Café, the school’s cafeteria.

Sign Up for E-News

The idea for the program came from the parent of a high school student who found the student’s course choices to be very interesting, said Deborah Trinz, executive director of the Achieve Foundation.

“Having had three kids go through Columbia High School, we have some really outstanding teachers there and I’m really excited about this because it’s going to give us a chance to let people know firsthand the caliber of educators who work at our high school and the breadth of courses that we offer there,” Trinz said, adding that it was an unusual event for a high school, as such programs were usually reserved for colleges and universities.

Trinz added that the variety of courses offered by the school was remarkable, “especially in this day and age with the budget cuts, our district has been able to maintain a pretty broad and high-quality course offerings for the high school students.”

The courses offered through the event include science, writing, art, photography and technology.

Some of the classes offered are high school standards: Creative Writing, Physics in Everyday Life and Art History. Others are, in a word, practical, such as Essential Study Skills and Computer Applications for Business. Some are more unusual, such as Drawing and the Right Side of the Brain, Genetics and You!, Who is Patient Zero? and Interactive Shakespeare.

The first session is set to begin at 9:45 a.m. and the last session begins at 2 p.m., with sessions at 10:55 a.m. and 12:55 p.m. Lunch will be served at noon.

Participants can register for as many classes as they want. Each class is $10, and participants can choose one class per session. For $40, participants can register for a class in each of the four sessions and they will also get lunch in the Cougar Café.

To register, interested community members can visit to see the full course list and call 973-378-2055. Registration will be possible at the door, although all the classes may not be open. Trinz advises people who want to register upon arrival to get there early, around 9 a.m., so that they have the largest selection of classes.

Trinz said that the Foundation would pay the teachers for their time.

“Right from the start, we were planning to pay them for this,” Trinz said. “(The teachers are) professionals; their time is valuable…They get asked to do a lot of things on a volunteer basis, and especially since we’d never tried it before, we wanted to make it worthwhile for them.”

While the event is not primarily a fundraiser, any leftover money raised will go toward restoring the school’s auditorium, Trinz said.

Caitlin Carroll is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts designed to give students real-world experience.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Maplewood Police Blotter - Three Thefts Reported, Including a Motor Vehicle

April 24, 2018

April 16 - Shoplifting; At approximately 3:15 p.m., officers responded to the 7-11 on Irvington Avenue on a reported shoplifter.  An employee reported that prior to officer’s arrival, a male entered the store, picked up several pieces of candy and then left without paying.

April 16 - Theft from Auto; At approximately 6:15 p.m. an unsecured vehicle parked on Van ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Man Arrested for Package Thefts

April 5 - Shoplifting; At approximately 3:15 p.m. officers responded to the Extra Supermarket on Irvington Ave on a reported shoplifter. Jean Legerme, age 21 of Newark was detained by security for attempting to leave the store without paying for several items. He was arrested, taken into custody and later released after being charged on a summons.

April 5 - Shoplifting; At ...

Sunny Skies for the South Mountain YMCA Healthy Kids Day Celebration

April 24, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The South Mountain YMCA celebrated Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, with lots of sun, activities, and healthy snacks, which were provided by the Stop and Shop of South Orange and Trader Joe's of Millburn,

The afternoon of fun included a climbing wall, an obstacle course, laser tag, bounce houses, and slides.

There was also an opportunity for kids to visit to the ...

41st Annual SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Service and March of Remembrance Held on Sunday

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The 41st Annual SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Service and March of Remembrance was held on Sunday, April 15. The march assembled in Spiotta Park on Maplewood Avenue in Maplewood, and was called to order with the blowing of the shofar.

Local elected officials who attended included Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca, Maplewood Township Committee member Dean Dafis, and ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, April 25, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality


Wed, April 25, 2:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Pierre-August Renoir: The Joys of Life at ...


Wed, April 25, 6:30 PM

South Mountain YMCA Civic House (in the Park), Maplewood

Maplewood Chamber of Commerce Presents Why Walk: ...

Business & Finance Health & Wellness Other


Wed, April 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Academy Heights Residents: No More Valley Street Development Until Master Plan Approved

April 22, 2018

This past Thursday, April 19th, the South Orange Development Committee considered a presentation from developers regarding the All Star Motors site on Valley Street between 3rd and 4th. The proposal is for a 61 unit dormitory/boarding house for college students, with 175 beds and limited parking on a lot that is partially zoned for two-family residential. About 20 Academy Heights neighbors ...

Gov. Murphy Announces Proposed NJTransit Funding Increase

April 25, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday spread a message of hope regarding future improvements to NJTransit services and infrastructure due to a proposed $242 million increase in funding for NJTransit for the 2019 fiscal year. 

At a press conference held at NJTransit’s Central Maintenance Facility on Doremus Avenue in Newark, Murphy, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, and other ...

Women Need Better Treatment Behind Bars, Lawmakers Say

NEWARK, NJ - Middlesex County Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) held a roundtable discussion Monday with criminal justice reform advocates and formally incarcerated women to discuss legislation Lopez and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle are introducing, modeled after legislation Booker introduced in the Senate, to reform the way women are treated behind ...

Cranford's Kurt Steiner, a Holocaust Survivor, tells Life Story as 106th Birthday Draws Near

April 25, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – In a quaint white house near the border of Cranford and Garwood, 105-year-old Kurt Steiner sat at his dining room table, surrounded by cabinets that held his collection of Viennese glass and antique Limoge plates. At his table, he had his carefully taped together passport and exit papers from Vienna, Austria, stamped with a large “J” and “Jude,” the ...

Amazon Works to End Stigma of “Free and Reduced” Meals at School

FLORENCE, NJ – There is a widely unknown problem in schools all over America: a stigma among many children who are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

Rather than face the peer pressure of receiving breakfast or lunch through this federal program, many choose to remain hungry.

To help eliminate the practice, Amazon has partnered with Share our Strength’s “No Kid ...

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at South Orange Police Station on April 28

April 25, 2018

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is on Saturday, April 28, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the South Orange Police Department, 201 South Orange Avenue.

South Orange Police is participating in the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Program. The program aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general ...

Reduce Your Risk for Colorectal Cancer

Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center presents “Protecting Your Colorectal Health” on Tuesday, May 1, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Morristown Medical Center Health Pavilion, 333 Mount Hope Avenue in Rockaway. Admission is free.

This popular, educational program presents an opportunity to hear up-to-date presentations from leading ...

Strollers’ 2017–2018 Season Concludes With William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Strollers community theater will close out its 86th season with a presentation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Bard’s classic comedy will be performed for three weekends in May at the Burgdorff Center for Performing Arts in Maplewood, NJ. 

One of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the stage—and arguably his best-known ...