A little known gem within the M-A campus lies in the portables; the academy program offers kids smaller class sizes, interactive class activities, and a tight knit community. This program offers students the same courses as their peers, but with smaller class sizes and more interactive class activities, like reenacting the French Revolution as a play. An academy English class would only have 15-20 kids. The classes carry over so each year you get to be with the same teacher and classmates which promotes stronger bonds between students.
Senior Hazel Hensley said she likes, “seeing the same people every day” and also described that she loves the smaller class sizes. She said it’s, “a more personalized feeling and much easier to be yourself with fewer people around.”
Senior Alejandra Lombera agreed, saying you get “familiarized with your teachers, making it easier for you to ask all the questions you need and be comfortable in the classroom.”
Academy head Joseph Paz, said that the academy “looks for students who are really motivated to succeed and currently have a 2.0 GPA or above.” Academy teachers interview all applicants which further determines whether or not a student could be admitted into the academy program. Paz also added that smaller class sizes allow for more group work. He said, “students being so tight with each other lets us do more group and interactive activities while still teaching the same curriculum.”
Possibly the most helpful aspect of the academy is the mentor program, in which the academy finds people in various industries around Silicon Valley to “match” with juniors in the academy. They meet and, “learn from and gain a lot of experience and create that network which is extremely helpful going forward.” The mentor program is one of many unique experiences that the academy program provides; it is truly a special place for M-A students to connect and bond.