Students choose an off-campus route

Jacqueline Barr

 

Twenty-seven seniors have left the traditional high school setting

Students have elected not to attend MVHS, choosing instead an alternative path. Junior and  senior students are allowed to enroll in Middle College, a program that allows them to take all of their classes at De Anza College.

Middle College students have priority registration in classes and have a higher chance to get into the classes they choose in comparison to other students at De Anza. They have a core literature and history class each day from 12:30 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. with all other Middle College students. However, outside of this, students are free to take whichever classes they choose.  A sample of two student's schedules at De Anza. Graphic by Jackie Barr
Students receive one year of high school credit per quarter they take at  De Anza college. These credits also transfer over to college.

“Most Middle College students are done with their  high school credits,” senior Jennifer Zhang said. “We receive transfer credits to the UC [system] and our counselor told us to negotiate for credits at [private universities].”

“When  I listen to students tell me why they want to go to middle college they usually just don’t fit in”assistant princpal  Trudy Gross said. “What I mean by that is high school didn’t really fit who they were or what they were looking for.”

Zhang explains that she moved to escape the social scene at MVHS and for more advanced and specific classes. Since attending Middle College, Zhang has been able to take such classes as anthropology and even yoga.  Zhang also noted that students can double up in a single subject. For example, students can take physics and chemistry in the same quarter.

Fellow classmate senior Michaela Miller echoes Zhang’s dislike of the social atmosphere at MVHS.

“There are very separate groups between the ‘nerds’ and the ‘party-ers’ [at MVHS],” Miller said. She is much happier with her experience at Middle College.

“There is a cafeteria table and every quarter it starts with just a few people from the quarter before and it keeps growing with new friends until the end of the quarter,” Miller said.

Miller also notes the difference in student’s goals. “I really didn’t like [MVHS] because I like to learn and people [at MVHS] like to get good grades.”

Now, her classes are filled with people who want to learn. “My chemistry class is full of people who want to major in chemistry[in comparison to MVHS where not everyone would be motivated by their major],” Miller said.