Academies: good in theory, bad in practice


The PHS academies being offered for 2022-23 school year

Adrienne McCoy, Staff Writer

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At the end of this year, Piper High School announced the implication of career-based academies. These academies will be implanted at the start of the 2022-23 school year. Along with this announcement came many mixed feelings. 

Also along with this, came many complications with schedules. Many classes that were available in Skyward were not in the master schedule. I know this was to see which classes would make or not, however it messed up many people’s schedules. 

This is causing many students to make the difficult decision about dropping classes, and deciding which classes take more priority over others. It can lead to trying to decide whether or not to drop AP classes or drop classes that are part of their academy. 

The problem with the AP classes is that they are all scheduled on white days, so if the classes you need to take for your academy are on a white day, and you’re taking an AP class, you will have to make a tough choice. 

Speaking of single placement classes, there are many classes with only one slot available being taught at the time that another one slot class. This loops back to the difficult decisions on deciding what classes have more priority to you. This is a huge frustration because of graduation requirements and trying to reach all of your credits. 

Another major issue with the academies is the amount of teachers that are quitting, along with the amount required to teach all of these new classes. There are around 10 teachers who will be leaving at the end of this year, and the addition of several new classes. 

There are not enough teachers to teach all of these new classes, or to be completely honest, enough teachers qualified to teach these new classes. It’s hard enough to find teachers in general, and the great resignation is not helping. 

Despite this, one of the biggest issues I take up with the academies is that it seemingly forces young children and teenagers to pick their careers. The problem is that people often don’t know what they want to do after high school. 

Many people feel forced into a career path with these academies. If you don’t know what you want to do, you will end up having to pick something, and stick with it. I have changed what I have wanted to do five times since I was in middle school, and it keeps changing as I get older. This does not help with any decision-making whatsoever. 

The final major issue I take up with the academies is the way they have been instated. The way they have been only helpful for those who are freshmen. It only gives the up-and-coming freshman a chance to complete the academy they chose. 

This only benefits them, and the current freshman. They have the longest time to complete their academy. The only way the future juniors and seniors can finish is if they took other classes in their academy. 

Overall the academies are a bad idea and are being poorly initiated. There could be a better way to start career-based learning, but I firmly believe this is not the way. The academies are a good idea, but the way we are implementing them is not the way.