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June Academy survey gives students’ opinions a platform

Sophomores+McKay+Sumsion+and+Albert+Wu+launch+the+airplane+they+built+as+part+of+the+%E2%80%9CDesign+Your+Own+Remote-Controlled+Airplane%E2%80%9D+course.
Sophomores McKay Sumsion and Albert Wu launch the airplane they built as part of the “Design Your Own Remote-Controlled Airplane” course.

Sophomores McKay Sumsion and Albert Wu launch the airplane they built as part of the “Design Your Own Remote-Controlled Airplane” course.

Adi Saligrama

Adi Saligrama

Sophomores McKay Sumsion and Albert Wu launch the airplane they built as part of the “Design Your Own Remote-Controlled Airplane” course.

Adi Saligrama, News Editor

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The results of the June Academy Exit Survey were released this month, sparking discussion about students’ impressions about the program. The survey had a 100% participation rate, with over 470 students weighing in.

June Academy debuted at the end of the 2016-17 school year as a new addition to the high school curriculum, taking place during the last two weeks of school. June Academy gave students the opportunity to explore topics of interest to them and “learn for learning’s sake,” said Principal Anthony Parker in an interview last spring.

Courses that June Academy offered ranged from “3D Modeling and Animation” to “Exploring The Martian” to “The Amazing Race: Applying your Weston Education to the Real World.”

Students were given a course selection survey in April where they chose their five top choices for each session out of the roughly 25 courses offered per session. Many students did not get their top choices, and in fact, the survey shows that about 35% of students did not rate the course they took as one of their top choices.

Despite this, students overwhelmingly said they liked their courses. About 83% selected a four or five out a a five-point scale rating if they enjoyed the course.

 

Students interviewed for this article also volunteered constructive feedback. Many students said that while their courses were enjoyable, it was difficult to sit in one class for three hours.

Sophomore Nathan Emans was one of several students who said that each week should have three scheduled sessions, instead of two.

“The only thing I would change about June Academy, other than adding more course choices, would be scheduling three courses a day, for example, because it’s really tiresome to be in only one or two classes,” Emans said.

In addition, academically oriented courses turned out to be generally popular with students, such as “Organic Chemistry in Action,” “Intro to Italian,” and “Short Memoir and Personal Writing.”

Senior Nathan Strauss suggested that more of these course should be offered next year.

“I understand that part of the reason for June Academy was to … focus more on life skills and slightly less academic ventures,” he said. “However, I think that can be achieved while having more of an inclination towards the academic.”

Administrators plan to bring back June Academy for the end of this school year.

“Modifications to the program are currently being discussed by June Academy Committee members, consisting of various members of the faculty and the PTO chair,” said guidance counselor Samson Luu.

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June Academy survey gives students’ opinions a platform