LV ACADEMY NEWS - Celebrating school choice By Imaani Mata
As National School Choice week approaches (week of Jan 22), it is so important to educate oneself about what the term “school choice” means and why it is so important.
School choice is a term that means parents have the opportunity to choose the schools they place their child/children in. These education opportunities include public schools, charter schools, private schools, online learning, and homeschooling.
Lehigh Valley Academy is a charter school, so this term is exceptionally important to us. I wanted to interview some of the students and teachers in the 7-12 building to get their perspective on the topic.
I spoke with Sydney Liberto, who is a senior at LVA. Liberto stated, “I chose LVA because of the amazing, esteemed IB program and the college preparatory aspects that are built into the everyday lives of the students at the school.”
Liberto believes that school choice allows you to explore what the best option is for you, and said, “Education isn’t a one size fits all and you should be able to have ample options as to the different ways to approach your personal education.”
Ms. Hydock, a DP art teacher who has worked at LVA for 20 years, gave me her thoughts.
“As someone who came from a parochial school background, it was always nice to have that option for parents to choose between public or catholic school,” she said. “Now we have options for more diversity in charter schools. School choice is beneficial for allowing students to be able to choose their own path and see which curriculum fits them best (such as a charter arts school/or an IB school).”
Even some of the youngest in the building understand the importance of school choice. Seventh grader Eva said, “It is important because it could affect what you’re learning.” Her classmate Luz added, “Parents should have the option to choose where their child goes and shouldn’t be forced to send their child somewhere else.”
Mr. Frantz, a science teacher who has been at LVA for 12 years, said, “I think school choice is important because it allows parents to have the option to choose the best school for their kids.
“Not every public school is a good fit for every student and school choice is a good option to look for different avenues of education that doesn’t cost families extra money,” he said.
Nathalie, a senior said, “A lot of the time in impoverished areas the basic public school system doesn’t provide much to students living in those areas. Therefore, these students receive lesser educations but, with options like charter schools, you can get a better education than what was provided at your district for no extra cost”.
I think having the option to do what was best for me education-wise completely helped with where I am today. Especially being at an amazing charter school such as LVA with a fantastic international baccalaureate curriculum.
I am now in an environment with not nearly as many distractions as the public school I once attended. I am also now surrounded by like-minded students who want the best for their education and future.
Being able to have the choice of a better education for myself has helped me get into the University of Pennsylvania which is a private university, a member of the Ivy League, and has the best nursing program in the nation.