The Student News Site of Traverse City West Senior High

The Occidentalist

The Occidentalist

The Occidentalist


Should School Personnel Be Armed?

  • No (55%, 17 Votes)
  • Yes (45%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

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Summer School: An Opportunity to Open Potential

Although the last place students want to go during summer is school, going in person may help in the long run

  Students who finish required core classes with a 60% or lower technically fail, which leaves the issue of properly graduating in the open. However, with the option of summer school taken on the Michigan Virtual High School (MIVHS) platform, students have the chance to redo classes they did not succeed in. To properly graduate, students must have four math credits, four ELA credits, three science credits, three social studies credits, one gym credit, one Visual Performing Arts (VPA) credit, and two world language credits, although it’s possible to swap these courses out for different options that align with a student’s interests.

  A large number of students also take online classes over the summer to further their academics over break and get a head start on the school year. Taking these courses over the summer also could potentially create free hours during the school year, making room for NMC classes or volunteering, such as Big Brother Big Sisters. 

  However, as someone who has taken online summer courses on the Edgenuity platform in previous years, there are definitely setbacks that may make it not the best option for some. This year, TCAPS is switching from Edgenuity to Acellus, which is, according to the Acellus website, an “online learning system that is elevating achievement at schools nationwide”. While physically going to school isn’t necessary for students just trying to get ahead, students who failed the courses are required to go in person Monday to Thursday in order to pass. The courses are fairly long, and the videos that are part of the curriculum are dull. Learning from home comes with endless distractions; whether it’s a pet running around, siblings screaming, or just getting sidetracked, it can put a significant dent in your learning and eventually, your GPA. As these courses run during the summer, it’s easier to put it on the back burner and attempt to complete the entire segment the last 24 hours before it’s due, resulting in a less than satisfactory grade. 

  On the other hand, there is a large amount of positives with the programs. It’s a unique opportunity that’s offered, helping both struggling and advancing students and giving them a second chance. While being in both of those boats with these programs, retaking a high school math class when I failed it in middle school and enrolling in another math class to get ahead, I can say it successfully pushed me to be a better student. However, it wasn’t the actual online program that helped me learn topics I struggled with and kept on the downlow: it was the teachers. During the school session, teachers would take time off during their summers and sit in the library with a group of 20 students they barely knew to help them pass. During my time stuck in the LMC during July, I took full advantage of my resources and past mistakes to build new learning habits, such as taking better notes, asking questions, interacting with the teachers, and being more organized, eventually leading to my A in the class. So, should you take the summer courses TCAPS offers? My overall answer is yes, but use the opportunity to break the patterns that caused you to struggle in the first place, and better yourself as an individual and student.  

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About the Contributor
Tess Tarchak-Hiss
Tess Tarchak-Hiss, Section Editor, Page Designer
Tess Tarchak-Hiss is a sophomore in her second year of newspaper. She is currently a journalist and chose to take this class to improve her AP writing skills, and because she has an interest in journalism. In her free time, Tess likes to roller skate, play guitar, and watch movies.  

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