In an age of an intense college-driven focus on core academics, students must also be exposed to the arts throughout their high school careers.
MVHS, like most schools, has a standard list of graduation requirements; a VAPA being one of them. While they may not appear necessary to every student’s road to college, VAPAs are still an important factor in high school curriculum.
For those who are unfamiliar with the abbreviation VAPA, it stands for Visual And Performing Art. This covers a wide array of classes including music, photography, theater, and more to ensure that students have a choice when it comes to fulfilling their art requirement.
In addition, the class can be taken any time throughout one’s high school career, making it flexible to each student’s individual schedule. This also includes the option to take a summer art course from Saddleback Community College.
As to why they are necessary, for many students VAPAs are the only exposure to an art class they will get throughout high school. If made optional they would still be available for students; however, most teens would not find the time to pack it into their busy schedules.
Art is also a subject in which even the most unsuspecting people can flourish. The self expression and stress relief that accompanies a VAPA can make a remarkable impact on a student’s career and optimism towards the future.
Additionally, it allows for those who have always known themselves to be artistically-minded to be accredited on their transcripts by being able to fulfill a requirement.
On the contrary, students who enter the real world after graduation with no exposure or understanding of art are at a major disadvantage to the rest, given art’s presence in popular culture. Music and art are easily two of the most prevalent influences in society, and even just a year long course in any VAPA class would give students the knowledge they need to understand these influences.
Just ask a friend if they’ve heard of Pablo Picasso. Most would answer yes, and possibly recollect that he was a famous Spanish painter and sculptor. However, if one never explored the values of art in high school, they may not understand who he is and why his work is important to present day culture.
In conjunction to its practical applications, VAPA classes are also a fun addition to a student’s core requirements. MVHS Junior, Kayla Miraftabi, describes her ceramics class as a “care-free environment” in which she can “learn new techniques and styles” while relieving the stress of her AP packed schedule.
Many others share similar experiences, regardless of their field of art, and are glad they were required to try something new.
If a student becomes passionate about their work they have created, they can also submit it to be published in the Diablo Art Magazine. This not only showcases student achievement among their peers, but can also be seen by colleges as students begin to apply.
Furthermore, from the flexibility of available classes to the long term impacts they can have after high school, art is one of the few graduation requirements that is actually enjoyable for students. Ultimately, making VAPAs a necessity in high school curriculum.