What Matters Most? Academics? Athletics? Arts?

What will matter most to the future of Eden Valley High School students as they venture out into the world as productive citizens? Academics, Athletics, or the Arts? Do you lean toward a strong Academic program that would provide Eden Valley High School students with critical thinking skills and rigorous courses that will prepare them as future citizens in today’s competitive world; or, on the other hand, do you lean more toward Athletics and the Arts which promote self discipline, life-long lessons, and personal attainment in achievement which also provides students with the skills they need to succeed?

“The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and its member state associations champion interscholastic sports and performing arts activities because they promote citizenship and sportsmanship in the 11 million students who participate nationwide. Activity programs instill a sense of pride in school and community, teach lifelong lessons and skills of teamwork and self-discipline and facilitate the physical and emotional development of the nation’s youth.” (NFHS 2015)

How can we evaluate Eden Valley High School and its offerings to students? A recent poll was given to the student body requesting that they rate and comment on the classes offered. Among the majority of the students surveyed, Math, English, Social Studies, and Science were acknowledged to be an important part of their academic studies. “Physics, Philosophy., Nutrition or Life Skills” were suggested by Victara as well as “Second Life Basics and Advanced in-world application” in knowing how to get the most out of SL.”  Business was also mentioned for a class.

“For adolescent students, in particular, sports team participation may be the major route by which they are physically active, and multiple studies suggest that participation on sports teams is also associated with better academic outcomes.” (Fox et al., 2010).“ Even the National Association of State Boards of Education (2004) claims the purpose of high school sports “…is to enhance the whole school experiences for all students.” Daisy commented that “cheer leading and sports” were lacking at our school. Another student’s suggestion was to add a “football team and baseball because I am a big baseball fan” with the possibility of contacting “other schools about having a game or two.”

Maxana offered a suggestion for an after school event ” I think it would be cool to do some more teen events so we can have opportunities to hangout and meet people such a mystery murder night”. Aly wrote ” maybe a class outing class, and a sports class”  with other suggestions by Austin “need to have sport coaches, maybe talent show or a camp like other schools have done.”  Janessa suggested ” a student council that could plan outside events” as little opportunity is offered for students to interact after class.

The students and staff of Eden Valley High School desire a top-rated school that offers a variety of courses. Academics hold the place of number one!

Strong support for Math (Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry), English (Creative Writing, Journalism, Grammar), Science (Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics), and Social Studies, (United States History, World History, Geography) Guidance counselor, Ms. Franco comments “I think they are all top priority classes. No one topic is more important than the others.”

Athletics ranked near the top. Here are a few comments from staff Ms. Cheviot (Algebra) sees a need for “athletics such as football or soccer as we need more sports though, especially for the guys in the school to feel included.” Mr. Zim ( History) suggested “Archery/Fencing and/or Precision Shooting as electives.”

The Arts are a must with a huge following for Theatrical Dancing, Music, Film, Photography, Other Electives mentioned are SL Basics and Advanced in World Applications, Drama, Building/Creating in SL, In and outs of Mesh bodies. Ms. Franco guidance counselor commented ” classes that require some talent and work on improving it like Creative Writing, Dancing, or Sports are very important as electives.” Mr. Davis added “I’d even like to teach a building & scripting class.”

Mr. Davis (Creative Director/Journalism) wrote “I’d love to see LOTS of things at Eden Valley, and I know the rest of the administration feels the same way. The unfortunate truth is that staffing said opportunities, such as Cheer not currently having a staff member to teach it, is the limiting factor. But I’m only one person, like the rest of the faculty, and we simply are limited by the faculty we have and we’re certainly always eagerly hiring!”

How can we as students make a difference in our school? Austin suggested “I think it’s important to have Meet and Greet Day or maybe have times to show new students around that might be interested in joining the school.”  Is anyone willing to create a club or student newspaper? Would a student council help to facilitate communication between future students, teachers, parents, and administration.  Let’s think how we can become the solution to enhance our education at the Eden Valley High School. Bean sums it up ” I think EVHS is on the right track for a successful high school experience!

Article by Gino44Esposito ResidentDab Snowfield

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