Student Speak: Academic Models

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Joy Kim

RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER: Northwood students reflect on their current academic model in preparation for the next school year.

After nearly a year of hybrid, blended or fully online learning at Irvine Virtual Academy (IVA), IUSD students have discovered both the beneficial and challenging aspects that come with adopting a new academic model. As the next school year approaches, there is one question on everybody’s mind: Which academic model is the best choice?

Maryam Quraishi (9) 

I did hybrid as my academic model for this year, and my experience with it has been great! I really appreciate the online days because they give me more time to catch up, sleep in and work at my own pace. The in-person days give me a chance to meet my friends, teachers and other classmates. I feel like the balance of in-person and online days makes the weeks go by super fast! I think I will do in-person learning this coming school year.

Irem Gursoy (9)

Hybrid, for me, has been a nearly 50-50 mix of pros and cons. At school, I am more motivated to do my work, but then again doing work on Zoom and independently on my own time can be easier. Doing hybrid has allowed me to do sports while still having online days which help me rest. To choose my schedule next year, I am taking into account the classes I am enrolling in; for example, I am doing band and for band it would be best to be in-person. Also, doing full in-person will allow me to do sports, interact with peers and learn material firsthand. However, after not doing a normal schedule for school in so long, I am also worried at how draining it can be. But with all things considered, I am planning on doing full in-person next year.

Johnny Jang (10) 

IVA was really boring, and I felt like I was less engaged during class. Most of the teachers also seemed less enthusiastic, and it just created an overall “meh” experience. Next year, I’m going to go back to the in-person model because it’s probably going to help me get closer to my teachers and I’ll get to meet my friends again. Also, I’m taking a lot of weighted courses so I need to stay focused during the classes.

Victoria Chen (11) 

At first it was hard for me to adjust to the workload and quizzes for IVA, but after a while, it was pretty laid back since the amount of homework and quizzes each week stayed constant. To be honest, IVA turned out easier than I thought. The workload was a lot, but it didn’t take long to complete. Overall, IVA was a pretty cool learning experience, and it was really nice seeing new faces and meeting new friends from other schools. That being said, I still learned more when I was in school before the pandemic. Because of that, I’m planning to return back to in-person school, since I don’t feel as confident in my depth of knowledge as I did before. 

Andrew Suh (11) 

This current school year, I am taking the hybrid model, and I’d like to say how much I appreciate the risks that our teachers have taken in order to give us the best education possible during the pandemic. There’s a lot of material to try to fit into each course, and the way they approached the issue of having a limited amount of time displays how they considered student well-being. For example, the use of Mondays and some time slots before or after class to accommodate for the loss of tutorial was a wonderful solution. Next year, I plan on taking the in-person model, and if I am unable to, a full online model with the exception of orchestra. This is currently my third year taking orchestra, and I value the way it helps balance my schedule, especially if the periods before happened to be stressful.

Emily Okamoto (11)

I’ve been having more positive than negative experiences with IVA. Overall, IVA is much more manageable with my current mental state and schedule, and I have more time to work on parts of myself outside of my academic life. I feel more at ease, and I’m starting to recover from a state of burnout I hit towards the beginning of hybrid last semester. The only inevitable factor that I felt lacking was socialization, just because everything was entirely online. Luckily, I am a part of an extracurricular that compensates for that, but I recognize that most do not have access to that, and that a lack of in-person conversations with other students over time can be detrimental to one’s mental health. With that factor in mind, I will be switching back to in-person learning next year. As much as IVA benefitted me specifically during the pandemic, I want to finish high school feeling like I made the most out of it by having as much fun as I can with the time I have left.