For sophomores and freshmen this year, two years of visual/ performing (VAPA) or applied arts total are required in order to graduate. Previously, students could also use their language credits in order to complete their requisite classes.
The extra year causes students to revise their schedules in order to accommodate it. For example, sophomores who were planning on taking their arts class in their senior year might have to take an extra class in their junior year in order to stay with their planned schedule.
“I took my first year of arts in freshman year because of what I heard from an upperclassman…. But then I learned I had to have a second year of arts so it was kind of annoying,” said Abigail Fernandes, sophomore.
Even though some students begin high school knowing what they want to do in the future or where they want to go, many are unsure. The new changes are designed to benefit them by leaving their choices open after they graduate.
“We changed the requirements in order to give our students more options in choosing their future after high school,” Principal Kara Butler said. “The new requirements fit more closely with the California A-G requirements. If they have the option open to them at graduation, that’s much better than not being able to take it because they didn’t meet the requirements.”
“No, [I don’t think the extra year will benefit me] I’m personally not interested [in arts]. I’d rather spend my time focusing on my academic grades,” said Kristina Oh, freshman.
The extra year may be helpful for those have no clear goal in mind but may serve as an inconvenience to those who are not seeking to complete the A-G requirements. Those who don’t want to go to a school in California or who don’t wish to go to college at all may want to focus on other classes that don’t include the arts.