Following Your Yellow Brick Road to Education

Hope Callaghan, Editor-in-cheif

Sequoia is well known in its community for its various education options and opportunities. These include special classes that build community such as AVID, higher-level classes such as ICAP and IB, and programs that offer catered experiences in the Digital Arts Academy (DAA) and the Health Career Academy (HCA). These classes and programs allow for specific and tailored learning pathways to students that allow students to chose their desired high school education experience. 

Freshman Ares Sosa is one of the majority of new students that have little experience with the educational opportunities at Sequoia. He said, “I know about all of the IB classes offered here mainly because of my [siblings] but I don’t [ know about the diploma or other programs].” 

“Right now, I’m in mostly ICAP classes [but] because I am a sophomore, I’m not sure if I’m going to do the IB diploma or not,” Adam Trinklein said about his current and future plans for his high school experience.

 “My decision was kind of just: ‘what do I really want out of my high school experience […] I wanted to take these classes because I wanted the challenge,” junior Madison Duran said about taking IB classes but opting out of the extra activities required for the full diploma. 

Senior Roxanne Dobre is taking several IB classes but opted out of the full diploma to prioritize her passion for dancing as well as stress management. 

“It’s way more important to take classes that [you are interested in] because if you are [taking] those classes to get into a good college, then you are going to get into a college where you are just expected to take the same kinds of classes. The way you schedule your life around certain courses should be within reasonable levels of stress,” Dobrer said. 

“IB classes have really helped me for college because they are pretty much the exact same college class kind of style and structure,”  Megan Kelly said, a senior who is taking both IB and HCA classes.

The IB diploma program is notoriously difficult and time consuming since it is the highest level of education offered at sequoia. When comparing experiences of past students as well as the advice of teachers, it is important to highlight the differences in the IB experiences that vary from person to person. 

“I think that a lot of the advertising is done by past diploma students, and so if anything, it’s not as bad as you expect it to be. Maybe [the hard part] is coming later but they definitely tend to say that it’s really bad but it’s not going to be like that for everyone.” Junior IB diploma candidate Aiden Jackson said. 

The two academies, the Health Careers Academy (HCA) and Digital Arts Academy (DAA) provide a unique and personal experience between students and teachers as well as give students the opportunity to explore a potential interest. 

“I think that if you want to do the full ib diploma, the HCA isn’t for you, but especially if you value stronger bonds with teachers and smaller classes, it’s a great option and also if you’re interested in any of the stem options in college,” Kelly said. 

Sophomore Liam Coan is a DAA student and shares his thoughts on the program and his experience in it so far. 

“The teachers in the DAA do feel more organized and coordinate with other teachers [and we get to] interact with other people so it’s really fun,” he said. 

Avid is another program offered both here at Sequoia and throughout the country that gives students a unique space and opportunity to connect with others and build community. 

“I would absolutely [recommend Avid] because the opportunities Avid gives is amazing,” Junior Francisco Salvador said. Salvador is also taking some IB classes this semester. “I think it’s a nice challenge [for] yourself, especially because there are some perks to it,” he said.