Why is there so much tension between the academies and magnets? There doesn’t need to be truly one superior learning community at Venice. There are five learning communities at Venice High: Academy of Law and Public Service, Science Technology Engineering Math and Medicine Magnet, Sports Medicine Academy, Media, Arts and Technology Academy and World Language and Global Studies Magnet. They each have their pros and cons.
A majority of students from different learning communities have the mindset that their magnet or academy is superior. Students of each magnet and academy have experienced the tension themselves.
ALPS focuses on law, environmental science and social justice. Senior Kimberly Trejo who is enrolled in ALPS commented that magnets “get more opportunities.” She suggested that money should be equally distributed throughout the different learning schools.
The STEMM magnet focuses on two main pathways: engineering and biomedical science.
When asked why he enjoys STEMM, senior Azriel Goldberg said, “STEMM is the best, but the competitive nature between magnets is more like siblings fighting. Because they know STEMM is better.” Yet towards the end of the interview, he confessed that STEMM is not the best in every aspect. He admits that learning another language is important.
Senior Geovanna Ordonez, president in the STEMM council, admits to tension between the magnets. She commented that a goal of the STEMM Council is to “establish a ‘treaty’ of sorts with the WLGS Magnet.”
The Sports Medicine academy focuses on sports, the human body and patient care for athletes.
“I really enjoy it. The body is pretty amazing, everything changes,” said sophomore Noelia Avalos. “[Magnet students] think they are better because they are in a magnet. The school should try to make everyone equal and give them the same privileges.”
Media focuses on artistic and technology talents.
“In Media, we get to make films with Ms. Greene which is so cool. But you get bullied by everyone else, like STEMM. They think they are better and their counselors are more dedicated,” said senior Isma Ruvalcaba. She suggested that everyone should stop “bullying each other” because “we are all in the same school.”
Senior Itzel Bautista, a Media student, added that “making the student to counselor ratio equal in all academies and magnet” would be a good solution.
WLGS focuses on the languages and cultures of the world.
Senior Isis Mendoza, a WLGS student and member of the WLGS Council, also acknowledges the rivalry between the magnets and the academies. She commented that she has had encounters with students from STEMM who claim to be the best magnet. She added that some STEMM students “don’t get out of their comfort zone” so they don’t have the practice of socializing and trying to understand the students outside their magnet.
“ALPS and Media don’t get as much attention, just because they are academies. They deserve to get the same opportunities as magnets, too,” said Mendoza. “Communication is the solution. Everybody has to be open to each other and become friends with students from different magnets or academies.”
I strongly believe that each learning community has its own pros and cons. Instead of fighting each other on who’s the best, imagine the things we can create together.
It’s time to unify all the magnets and academies. It’s time for a treaty, so to speak. Students should work together to share the school’s resources. We are in different learning communities, but we are also one school.
We are all the future so let’s build it together. The WLGS and STEMM students could partner up to make an app about the different world cultures. Media students could make a video about that process. WLGS students could work with ALPS students to discuss the different laws in different cultures of the world. STEMM students could create an app with Sports Medicine students to teach basic first aid to the world.
This school has to be more balanced. To answer the question I stated in the beginning, there is no magnet or academy that is better than the other and each one has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to students to be above the desire to be superior and start thinking about how we can use each other’s strengths to do amazing things.