Eighth grader drives from middle school to take Integrated II


Getting an early start on his homework, Rohitjeyan Kulanthaivel solves a math problem in Mr. Joel Williams’ last period Integrated ll class. Photo by Carson Nichols.

Many middle schoolers fear the trials of high school. Eighth grade is full of preparation for the next four years, but for Rohitjeyan Kulanthaivel, known to his friends as Rohit, eigth grade and freshman year coexist.

“It honestly makes me feel really cool to be in a class with people older than me and even smarter than me,” Kulanthaivel said.

Rohit is an eighth grader at Granite Oaks with a talent for math. Although all of his other classes take place during the day at his regular school, he is in Mr. Joel Williams’ eighth period Integrated II class here. 

“I love it when kids challenge themselves in whatever they do, so for him to be able to challenge himself to move on from Granite Oaks and try something new is really cool,” Williams said.

Rohit said math has always been his strongest suit, even in elementary school. In seventh grade he took Integrated l with eighth graders at Granite Oaks, along with his seven other middle school classes. 

“The content is definitely harder than middle school and the workload takes some getting used to, but I think I’m doing okay,” Rohit said.

Rohit’s parents drive him between the two schools on even days. He leaves during what Granite Oaks calls enrichment, similar to PAWS, and misses his last period. According to Kulanthaivel, other students at his school do the same thing he does.

“Everybody knows what I do, and some other kids do it too – we just never really talk about it at school,” Kulanthaivel said.

Even though he doesn’t know many people and spends minimal time here, Rohit is doing his best to adjust to the culture on campus. He will likely be taking Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry Honors or Integrated lll during his freshman year. And while most of his friends are back at Granite Oaks, his classmates said Rohit has made a strong effect on his peers here. 

“Rohit is hilarious and always so positive, but mostly it amazes me how quickly he can do problems,” Nicole Nordman said.

The main source of many incoming freshmen’s anxiety is the culture in high school, but that’s not a worry for Rohit. He said he feels as if the culture isn’t much different. 

Kulanthaivel said, “I feel like I’ve acclimated well to the high school life. If I have to be here for four years anyways, I might as well like it.”