March 2014


Valentine’s Day

Valentines’s Day is the most exciting and wonderful holiday.  I don’t feel that it is only about couples; to me it is about spreading out the love, spending time with the ones you love, and caring about family and friends. During the good old days in elementary school, the love spread out through the school by classrooms having Valentine’s Day parties and passing out valentine cards. During those Valentine’s Days when we were little, no one felt left out or alone because everyone would get something.  Now that we are older we think that Valentine’s Day is all about couples that are in love.  It doesn’t matter to me because every year I get excited for Valentine’s Day. This Valentine’s Day I spent with my boyfriend and my son, and for the first time I got balloons and five pounds of chocolate! This day is just amazing! Valentine’s Day is not about only love; it’s about being together and people showing their love and care.   -Melissa


As an eighteen year-old girl, I am all for celebrating and sharing time with the people I love most, but Valentine’s Day has become a commercialized day for teens to spend their parents’ money on someone they won’t even speak to next year. I feel as if love should be expressed 365 days a year, not just one.  Now I am young; I have enough experience to not make the same mistakes twice, but I’m not experienced enough to not fall into a situation I’ve never been in before. Unlike most people of my age, I have experienced a love that will last a lifetime. The day I became a mom was the day I knew what love really was. Not only do I love my son with all of my being, but his father will forever have my heart for blessing me with the amazing gift of life.

Valentine’s Day should be celebrated, but not in the ways our generation celebrates it. We have Instagram wars of whose boyfriend is better because they spent the most money, and spend too much time worrying about what we are going to get our loved one instead of spending that precious time together.  The holiday is not about gifts and glamor, it is about love, PERIOD.  My little family didn’t get to spend all of Valentine’s Day together, but we ate dinner, watched a movie and cuddled until it was time for bed.  However, that will not be the only night we do that.  Our family is based on pure love, so spending the nights we can together is important to us and we take advantage of it. Our generation may celebrate the holiday as a competition, but I refuse to fall into the ways of the world.  I will continue to celebrate Valentine’s Day as it should be done, and as a result, my love for the holiday will never fade.   -Cassidy


Valentine’s Day is the most loved the day or the most hated: it just depends on who you are. To be honest, Valentine’s Day is just another day to me. I mean if you love someone every day, why only show them on Valentine’s Day?  My favorite part about Valentine’s Day is when all of that candy goes on sale the next day! For some reason Valentine’s Day and Easter have the best candy!  This is when the Reese’s are the biggest, and you all know that Reese’s are the best candy on the planet. I don’t personally see anything wrong with Valentine’s Day; I think it is a great holiday. It is a day that a woman (when she has someone to share it with) looks forward to.  My boyfriend and I celebrate our day, but my friends and I also celebrate. I mean it isn’t just about your other half: it could be your friends and everyone else too.

One thing that bothers me about Valentine’s Day is when you have girls out there who are complaining because they don’t have a guy to spend it with. You don’t have to spend it with a guy; you can spend it with friend’s family or anyone you love. It doesn’t have to be a significant other, and that is what people get confused.  They think they can only spend it with that other person, but that isn’t true.  Every year, my grandma buys me something for Valentine’s Day; she isn’t my boyfriend, but she loves me and she wants to show that to me.  That is the point of Valentine’s Day: to share it with the ones that you love.  However, you should not do that only one day of the year! When you love someone, show them as much as possible because you never know when it will be the last time you get to show them.  I asked my teacher if he liked Valentine’s Day and he said he loved it because he can be a giver.  I doubt the only person he gives to is his other half; he gives to his children and family because he loves them. So the next time you are waiting for Valentine’s Day, don’t be upset if you don’t have a boyfriend, or girlfriend.  Be happy because even if you do not have that other guy, you have your friends and family.  At the end of the day, they turn out to be way more important than a one time Valentine.  Don’t just use that one day to let everyone know, use any chance you get let them know. It doesn’t take much to say I love you or to give someone a hug, and trust me, when you do, it you will feel a billion times better and so will they.   -Taylor

Knowledge and School

 It seems that teens can’t focus on what’s important; most of them look for easy entertainment. Instead of focusing on things like television or social networks, they should try to be more productive, like finding healthy hobbies, focusing on school, and building good relationships with their parents.  At only eighteen years of age, I am able to understand far more complex things than a usual teen. I see that many people around my age don’t relate to me when it comes to ideas and understanding of life.  If teens would focus more on reading about important topics, and trying to understand history, politics, ethics, morals and present circumstances, they would develop a better understanding of life. These aspects would help them mature into better persons and have more sympathy for one another.  Knowledge is the only good we humans posses. If teens remain ignorant to what has happened and what is yet to come, then there will be no progress. It is a priority to empower ourselves with knowledge in order to provide a better, more peaceful earth for our next generations. The world will continue to suffer until we don’t learn to make better decisions.  -Carlos


100 years ago, neither woman nor African Americans were allowed to receive education, and white people who were allowed to were required to pay for it.  This meant many people were very poorly skilled and had very little knowledge. Today, children from the ages 5 to15 are required to attend school. They are required to get their education, unlike those people 100 years ago that grew up with no knowledge to make correct decisions. However, many children take this opportunity for granted and if given the chance, they would choose not to go to school. There are many excuses: school is boring, you need to wake up early, the teachers are mean, or the lunch is awful.  But the fact is: no matter how schools teach you, they are teaching you.  If you are making a choice on whether you want to attend school or not, it is the same choice of being smart or dumb.

I agree: traditional school can be a pain in the.. rectum.  First of all, you are required to wake up at the crack of dawn and go sit in a desk and listen to a teacher talk for the next 8 hours of your life.  Studies even show that children’s brains do not fully wake up until about 9 a.m! Then at lunch (in most schools), you are given leftovers again and again until they run out and decide to make some stale food they were originally supposed to make the day after you were first served those “leftovers.”  Not to mention the milk is either expired or a few days from being expired.  Then there are those terrible teachers.  Schools continue hire teachers based only off of their knowledge; they should be hiring them off of personality and wittiness, how efficiently they can interact and relate to their students, as well as on their knowledge. Most teachers expect a student to agree and do everything that is asked of them without question.  Not only are they extremely boring but they lack understanding of their students. This is especially an issue because students are not told why they should go to school in the first place, only that it is required and it will help them be successful. As children, do we even know what being successful is?  So, yes I understand. I agree. School sucks. However, no matter if you know or not, your teachers are teaching you, they are making you smarter, and that’s what school does.

Although school may have many flaws, there are a few good things that are left unnoticed. When I was little, I loved school simply because that is how I made friends. Yes, it sucks waking up early and having to make it to your classes on time, but that is preparing you to make it to your job on time. Teachers can suck, but, most likely, so will your boss. Lunch sucks, but no one notices that many schools have vending machines full of chips and Vitamin Water (which is way better than milk and leftovers). Also, there are extra curricular classes that you choose.  School gives you social skills, time management skills, skills to help you deal with a horrible boss, and many more skills that go unnoticed.  Yes, I agree that schools may not teach students the right way. However whether they teach the right way or the wrong way, in the end school is educating you. Your teachers, believe it or not, are there to help you. School gives you a chance to be smart enough to make good decisions and opinions and learn skills that will help you to maintain a career later in life.  School helps you to be successful: successful by making money and hopefully being happy.  -Alyssa


When school would come back from summer I would always put on my hard hat and attempt to keep a positive attitude about the experience, yet that never lasted. I always seemed to have this problem; a problem where I would end up giving up half way through the year.  I would believe that I had done my part in school yet I would end up not going. I am fully aware people have expectations for kids and when they are in high school their senior year: they are expected to go out into the world and decide where their path is heading. Somehow we are expected to leave high school and learn how to pay bills, make a living, hold a job, and raise kids. The idea of choosing what you are going to do for a living in a year is just… stupid.  Plain, rusty ol’ stupid.  When you are going through the school system, you are taking the same old classes until high school.  Though high school allows you to choose what you want to take it’s not something that will benefit you.  Yes, if you enjoy photography you can decide you want to be a photographer.  The same goes with many other classes, but the whole idea of those things being what you want to do for a living is a fraud. People change throughout their lives, losing interest and gaining new ones. I have never seemed to rap my head around why school doesn’t teach you about the real life situations you will be facing.  School doesn’t teach you the following: how to be a parent, how to raise children, how to pay bills (mortgages, health insurance, life insurance, electricity etc.), how to do well in interviews for jobs, how to fix your car when it breaks down, how to pick the right home, how to do taxes or if you should have someone do them for you or do them yourself, how to vote for the right candidate (or simply how to make wise decisions), how to get a loan for collage, how to use money wisely, and how to make sure you aren’t being ‘screwed’ in job.  There are so many things we are just assumed to know when we go into college.

I asked myself for years why teachers don’t just teach us these things, the things that will better our lives.  I finally came to the conclusion that schools are too concerned about what ranking the school is in the state or in the country. It is STUPID. When I was younger my mother never even wanted me to take CCAP or TCAP.  She said, “I want you to focus on your grades, those tests are for the schools ranking, not for your grade”.   Do teachers really care about how students will thrive after school? Are they concerned about if we know the proper tools?  Or do they care about their pay grade and if they have the highest grades in the school?  It makes me wonder if the teachers really care about students, if they hope for the best for kids who have to become adults when their 18th birthday smacks them or if they just hope to get the year over with cashing their check.

Though many people will say, “Teachers care!” If they did, they would make their lessons about real life scenarios. They should help the sad kid who doesn’t show up to school because bullies are scaring him.  They shouldn’t taunt kids by what they don’t know, but lift them up for what they do do, and they should never give up on a kid or try to kick him out of school so their school rating doesn’t drop.  If teachers care, they will be sure their students are the brightest strongest people out there, and be determined to help even if the kids don’t want to. That should be their prize: knowing they have made hundreds of skilled strong warriors for the world to watch.  -Ashley


I love school! It prepares me for the real world and gives me skills for when I want to work at a business.  I am an online student who also goes to a technical college to be an ASE certified mechanic. I enjoy logging into my online school to do my work because it’s at my own pace, and I feel like I have more help/support from teachers.  It’s good for me because there is technology (computer, tablet, phone) that helps me learn by listening and seeing material.  I don’t have to worry about other students distracting me from my work, even though in the real world there will be distractions, challenges, and difficult people.

Normal public schools are okay, but I’d rather continue my schooling online. It was so difficult for me to focus in regular school.  When I would be on my way to my next class, it would be heavily crowded and many of my peers were in my way.  It took forever to move.  It’s like most of them didn’t even care if they made it to class on time or not.  Many of them were just talking with others or playing around.  When I would finally make it to class, I’d be distracted by some disrespectful kids talking back to the teacher or just being loud. This made it harder for me to focus, but I still got my work done.   Then, to add the cherry on top, I’d get picked on because I was quiet and trying to get my work done.  There were so many haters!  I guess misery likes company.  After three years of high school, I finally went to a online school to get caught up and feel more comfortable.  I was tired of threats in school and just seeing kids go wild as if it was a zoo!  Now I’m getting an education without distractions and I’m also attending a vocational education program.  I’m just pretty happy that this year of school is more peaceful and easier to understand!  -Brianna

APS Awards3 (35 of 16)

A New Hope

APS Online has been a life saver for so many students, whether they have had a kid or they just did not do well in regular school.  This school is a blended model.  You can work from home, but you also have to go in twice a week.  There are a lot of students here that have had a lot of success here. I am one of those students.

I was going to a high school that I loved. I had friends and I loved my teachers, but then the worst possible thing happened: I got an MRSA infection and I was rushed into emergency surgery.  I was in the hospital for a week.  They sent me home, and then 3 days later I had a fever of 105.5 and was rushed back to the hospital.  They took me into the ICU and put me under freezing cold water and ice packs. They needed to do surgery again, but I was not stable enough to go under.  After three days they finally got my  temperature down enough to make it through another surgery.  This time I was hospitalized for three weeks.  When I went back to school they told me that I had already missed too much school, and in the state of Colorado there is a law saying they had to fail me for that quarter.  I was lost and did not know what I was going to do. I had done all of the work and kept my grades up, but because of the law I was now going to be behind in everything.  They told me that it would probably a good idea if I found another school.

APS Online had just opened on the same campus and they were willing to work with me to get me back on track to graduate.  I went through a lot more medical challenges.  I was on IVs medication, I had a PIC line in and a vacuum on.  The school worked with me when I was in the hospital, and they did much more for me.  I decided I wanted to go into the health care field and they helped me start my college while still in high school; that’s something I probably could not do if I was at a regular high school.  I am happy to say that this year I will be graduating on time! I have overcome so many challenges and with out APS online I don’t honestly think that I would even be graduating.  -Alea


It’s amazing that something so simple, like changing schools, can impact and benefit a persons life.  Before I came to APS Online, things were a mess for me.  I was failing with my education and doing absolutely nothing with my life.  After a while I got sick of it and had to figure out some way to improve my life and education.  I looked into many different schools; I had already been to two different high schools, and one of them I went to twice.  I was mainly looking into some alternative schools, and that’s when I cam across APS online.  Many people I spoke to told me that online school is boring, and you just sit at home all day on a computer, but I decided to check it anyway.  I saw the opportunities this school offered and immediately tried to get enrolled.

Once I got enrolled at APS Online, my life completely changed.  I started to get straight A’s, which had never happened before.  I began going to work with my dad to save money.  I also started to buy all my own clothes, school supplies, accessories, and any other necessities I needed.  I learned how to become responsible, I got my drivers license, bought my own car, enrolled myself in several college classes, and have dedicated myself to getting caught up on credits and graduating.  I have never improved my life this much in this small amount of time. I t simply amazes me looking back on who I was three years ago; I’m completely different now.   I can’t thank APS Online enough for everything it’s offered and done for me.  I would probably be a dropout right now if I didn’t enroll at this school.  It’s not just me either; I see so many people who were going to give up, but didn’t because they were given the opportunity to finish what they started: they stayed in school and graduated.  I have never been more pleased with a school, I am actually proud to say I go to school at APS Online.  I see what it has done for me and many others and it makes me happy to see that there are so many people who have graduated and accomplished so many great things all because of APS Online.  I honestly wish there were schools like this everywhere so more people can get the opportunities and environment we do.  Someday I’m sure there will be.  -Emma

High school for me was amazing at first, but soon it all went downhill. I had to deal with an unhealthy relationship that I was afraid to get out of, girls wanting to jump me because of who I was dating, and not having many friends.  It doesn’t sound bad, but we all handle things differently than others and for me, it was a war that I couldn’t win.  I knew I wasn’t going to unless I did something about it and tried to fight for myself to prove that those girls and other people were wrong about me.  I was afraid to fight for myself and prove them wrong, so eventually it led to something that I am not at all proud of.

I loved the high school experience at first; it was fun and amazing.  I had friends and I wasn’t getting into any trouble.  The teachers were okay and the work was not that hard.  It was everything that my parents said it was going to be.  I was getting good grades, hanging out with the cool girls, and everyone knew me.  I was having fun and wanted to go to school every morning.  I didn’t really care about how I looked, or what others thought of me.  Some days I went to school in sweat pants and a t-shirt with no makeup, and no one talked crap about me.  Other days I got all dolled up and pretty.  I got along with just about everyone and I was doing great. I eventually even had an amazing boyfriend and everything was perfect.

It all started to go downhill as soon as everyone knew that I was dating this boy.  Everyone got into our business, and people told me that he was cheating on me.  He and I were arguing a lot and he made me seem like the bad guy.  He told lies about me and he was such a good liar a lot of people believed him. Rumors about me went around and it wasn’t helping the fact that I was already depressed and going through a lot.  He and I were on and off for a while and that is mostly because he was self harming and threatening to commit suicide.  I was holding back feelings and wasn’t talking to anyone about it and it was not at all healthy for me.  I went through a lot of similar issues,  but I began to see a therapist and that helped.   The scars will be there forever, but the memory of what it taught me will always be a reminder of how strong I am. When I got back to school nothing changed: it only got worse for me.  The girls that were friends with with my boyfriend wanted to jump me.  I couldn’t take the bus anymore because that’s where they were going to do it.  I no longer wanted to go to school anymore and I was always in the office crying and calling my dad to come and pick me up.  That’s when I became an online learner here at APS Online High School.

I did not have many friends after everything that happened, but that taught me how to be a better person and to not trust many people.  I am a better person today and I am more focused on school than I have ever been. School for me is amazing now and I am happy to be an online learner.  Although high school was a bad experience for me, I am better off because I had the option to become an online learner.  -Monique


APS Online High School has a mission to provide each student within the system a safe environment, knowledge, skills and values needed to learn effectively.  Thanks to APSOL, students such as DJ are given the opportunity to not only succeed inside the classroom, but to also be successful and strive for greatness outside the classroom.  Students that are not enrolled at an online high school believe that it is easier to be a successful student in an online school because it does not take as much effort to meet the school’s expectations and it is not as big of a challenge to focus on the education.  DJ (a senior at APS Online High School) strongly argues against this by saying that in order to succeed as a student you need to have teachers that want to see you succeed.   The student also has to be self-motivated and disciplined in order to focus on their education as well as recognize what their priorities are so they are capable of maintaining an efficient and well balanced schedule.

DJ struggled in high school because his regular school schedule interfered with his extra curricular activities and his job.   This made it almost impossible to be successful with either one.  DJ has now been boxing for six years now and is proud to say that he has finally earned his golden gloves thanks to his more flexible schedule.  DJ also has a passion for football: he was playing for a varsity football team by his freshman year.  Ever since then, he focused all his free time on training to become an even better football player.  He also has to help out with his father’s  job.  For DJ, attending a regular high school was a huge challenge.  It interfered with his ability to productively complete his tasks and he was constantly frustrated trying to make time for everything while keeping his grades up.   All of this made him feel as if his high school’s regular schedule was setting him up to fail.

Thankfully, APSOL’s full time, part time, supplemental options and unique form of learning gave DJ the opportunity to receive the same education on a more flexible schedule.  APS Online High School also has a smaller population which allows DJ to have more effective engagement with each of his teachers.  He says his teachers always are easy to contact and they make sure to keep a positive encouraging relationship reassuring him that they want to help him learn and they are rooting for him to succeed.  DJ is more than appreciative of APSOL because he feels that the different model of learning is more beneficial and compatible with his daily schedule.  The school not only has supporting teachers, but also a fundamental and educational system that is sure to better prepare him and encourage him to look forward to his future.  –Dani