While VAPAs give students the chance to explore new interests, they should not have to be required by the school
As students go through high school, many are busy figuring out a schedule that works the best for them. They have to factor in the time they get to school, if they want to play sports, and the classes they have to take in order to graduate.
While students are able to take extra curricular classes for their own enjoyment and interest, they should not be a requirement as this adds extra pressure and stress to an activity that a student might have found as an escape from regular school stress. While it is true that VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) classes are able to bring an experience that some students may enjoy, this does not mean they should be required by the school district to be completed in order to graduate.
Many VAPA’s range from photography and ceramics, to others such as music appreciation and ceramics. These are examples of popular VAPA’s that students take in order to complete their A-G requirements. Since this is a requirement, all students must take one even if a class does not fit their specific interest.
A student may take the class looking to explore a new hobby, or to further their interests into a classroom setting. This may be detrimental to their interest as they may not find the class that suits them best. As much as a student may want to drop the class they know they must complete it. Thus, their actual interest may no longer to enjoy the VAPA, but rather to just finish it.
Furthermore, some VAPA’s are not always equal to others which exposes the inconsistency of it being a required class. For example, many online courses are almost equal to a history class as the student is just required to study about the history of the subject rather than actually performing or creating. VAPA’s such as music appreciation, appreciation of the arts, and other similar classes can be found online.
Some students may even have to drop another extracurricular they enjoy just to satisfy their VAPA requirement, especially since VAPAs are all year.
There is an extreme difference between in class VAPAs and online VAPAs as they do not exactly require the same involvement or effort to pass the class. While one student may have to take their VAPA daily during a class period, an online vapa student may have a different schedule that fits their schedule better. They also have the option to take this VAPA during summer.
In addition, some classes may prove to be more visual and express the ideals of a VAPA class yet not count as one. Journalism at MVHS is an elective that does not count as VAPA credit. So while students may genuinely love the class they will not be able to take credit for it as a VAPA.
Without a doubt, the ideas that a VAPA class try to incorporate are beneficial to students. This gives them the ability to explore different hobbies or activities they may enjoy themselves in the future. However, the way they are organized reveals the inconsistency and differences between these classes.