Survey says: RV has many solid courses, but students and staff want more

The Holly Spirit polled students and teachers to hear their opinions about course offerings at RV


The survey sent to all students and teachers

Riley Ruiz, Student Life Editor

Course selection is an integral part of the school year and for most, it’s pretty exciting. RV has a wide variety of classes to choose from that interest and satisfy many students; however, some people want a little more than what RV has to offer. In the beginning of March, a survey was sent out to every student and teacher asking for their input. If RV could offer any other class, what class should be offered, and why? Here are some of the most popular responses that were received. 

The most common response was to add an additional language selection. Out of every language mentioned, American Sign Language (ASL) was by far the most popular reply. Sign Language is already a club at RV, but it appears that students want more and wish to transform this club into a course. Many students noted on the survey that it is important to learn deaf culture and make those who use ASL feel comfortable and understood. German was the second most common response received in terms of languages. Other languages mentioned include: Russian, Japanese and Mandarin. Many students feel it would be interesting to learn a language out of the ordinary; as an anonymous student responded, “I wish RV offered Mandarin because right now we only have romance languages. Mandarin is a good language to know today… and it would also be more of a stretch for the brain.” If RV were to offer more language selections, such as those mentioned above, students describe the class to be… “[Similar to] the language classes now, [but we would have] more language options.”

RV’s science and STEM programs offer a lot of excellent courses, however, the addition of a Coding/Computer Science class was a popular response. An anonymous student from the survey explains the course, “It would include the basics of coding for languages like Java, JavaScript, HTML and maybe some Python and laying out the basics of how to create websites and basic data structures, lists, etc.” As the interest in technology grows, students articulated that this class would be appropriate and beneficial for those who wish to pursue a career in a field that requires knowledge of programming and coding.

RV does currently offer a number of different computer science options, including Software Design and Gaming Design, with potential plans to expand its technology courses. 

Continuing in the science department, a number of students voiced desire in a geography. “The class would ideally center around learning the capitals of countries around the globe, knowing the countries around the globe and the physical attributes of countries like its tall mountains and notable geological features,” said one student on the survey. RV currently offers a course titled “Introduction to Geography Information Systems,” which, according to the 2020-2021 Program of Studies, is a “lab-based survey course of computer-based techniques in the storage, retrieval, analysis, and representation of spatially referenced data,” which may not be the traditional geography course that many students seek.

Another science course mentioned frequently was an introduction to animal/veterinarian care. One student explained the basics of the class:  “[Volunteering] at an animal shelter is something I am highly interested in, as I hope to become a veterinarian one day.”

Perhaps most notably were the requests in different history courses. Some popular responses from teachers and students included AP Human Geography, an in depth WWII course, African History and Art History. In terms of art, “alternative craft skills” was another popular response. “The class would have different lessons on lost crafts/arts,” an anonymous response stated. “Examples: knitting, crochet, embroidery, cross-stitching, weaving, etc. Since all the skills have a basic form they would be easy to teach to someone who knows little. Each could have a little history lesson tied in.” Students feel that these skills have been lost over time and it would be interesting to have an option to be able to learn these skills. 

The transition to the adult world is not easy, and many students pointed to the need for courses that would better prepare them for the responsibilities the real world entails. Both students and teachers alike articulated the need for an adulting 101 and and independent living course: “A Lifestyle/Adulting 101 class [will] further prepare students for adulthood and help them develop into a well-rounded member of society,” a student responded. “This class [would be] almost like a combination of our existing family and consumer classes.” The class would include learning how to live independently in addition to learning money management, 401k’s, taxes, preparing students for careers and useful skills to make students better equipped adults. Additionally, students suggested classes regarding economics. Courses mentioned include AP Macroeconomics and Microeconomics along with a course focusing on investing and the stock market.

The survey highlighted a couple of things, including how many courses RV already offers (but students don’t know about) and the diverse range of learning that RV students seek. With new classes being offered every year, there is a good chance that many of these will be in the not-too-distant future.