‘A closer look into the everyday activities of our ROP students
A bus arrives and students flood out, trying to remember which teachers are chill enough to let them in for FLEX over 40 minutes late. This is the reality of students in regional occupational programs (ROP), but although coming to school halfway through class can be a little awkward, most students find their time in the program to be quite rewarding. Despite what some people believe to be inconveniences in the ROP program, students say the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
Armando Holmes-King (12) describes the benefits of taking the Auto Tech courses. He took Auto Tech 1 last year, and is in Auto Tech 2 this year.
“The pros would be the knowledge and certifications for the field that you’re trying to get into. The teachers are really nice and really supportive. Close to the end of the year, one of our assignments is to make a resume and a cover letter.”
Jerome Arbee (12) describes the activities he’s been doing at the lab at Mission Valley ROP so far.
“I’m taking Principles of Biomedical Science and Human Body Systems. We actually dissect[ed] [a] heart last week, [and] before that we did blood typing. We’ve done polygraphs, DNA testing, DNA extraction, and a couple others.”
He explains why he decided to take the class this year and what he’s getting out of it.
“I want to do toxicology. It’s teaching me a lot of the basic skills I need to know for college, and it’s also helping [to] prepare me for a laboratory setting which will help me after college. … It teach[es] us a lot about the career paths that we can take with [the] class, and it show[s] us a lot about what we would be doing if we do pursue these careers, so that’s really helpful.”
Although most students agree that there are lots of benefits to taking ROP classes, especially if they relate to a potential future career, there are some improvements they would like to see.
“I [wish] ROP was slightly more [relaxed] as some classes have strict guidelines. I also wish that it [was] formulated around our school schedules better because I miss lots of my third period some days.” says Roman Xavier Fanto, a senior in the ROP nursing program.
The most popular complaints were about the buses that take students to and from the building. “[The] school bus system should manage [their] time [better] so they can arrive at 8am specifically,” says Alexsander Tupas, a senior in the Auto Tech program.
Holmes-King strongly feels that the bus drivers should drive safer: “I f*cking hate the bus drivers. … Did they get a license to drive a f*cking monster truck? It feels like we are driving on a 64 year old dirt road.”
Nevertheless, most students feel that they are gaining really good experience from their time at their ROP, and it helps them feel more prepared for the future. Arbee would like to add a comment for anyone unsure of whether they should take the leap and take an ROP class in the future: “Students at American should take ROP classes during high school because the classes help you explore the career[s] that interest you and further [your] understanding of the jobs you might spend your life pursuing.”
The Mission ROP Center on the crisp morning of October 25th. Students who were dropped off early wait outside for the building to open so classes can start (taken by Armando Holmes-King).