The Rise of the Ninth Class: Atlanta Virtual Academy Dominates NAHS Culture


Shira Preis

Grind Time: With the rise of AVA, many students work to complete their course work before finals season approaches.

When the pandemic hit, many people realized that there were numerous options other than just traditional in-person schooling. One alternative offered at North Atlanta is the Atlanta Virtual Academy (AVA). AVA can be used either full-time or for taking just one class on top of a student’s regular eight in-person classes. The latter has seen a rise at North Atlanta recently, as more students realize they can take advantage of gaining necessary credits early on.

Many Dubs have realized that they can take required classes online, freeing up space in their in-person schedule to take another class they’re more interested in. This particularly reigns true for IB DP students. whose schedule is dominated by the required seven IB classes. For these Dubs, taking a class like economics or PE online means that they get to take an elective they may enjoy more as their 8th class. Madeline Poole, a sophomore and future DP student, has found herself taking advantage of this. “I realized I needed a physics credit and didn’t want to do IB physics, so I decided to take it this year through AVA,” she said.

While AVA may offer many advantages to students, it also comes with its fair share of drawbacks. In terms of learning, it is fairly easy to cheat with the program. As the browser is not secure, many students choose to use test answers that are online instead of working to understand the content. Additionally, many students who take classes through the platform have noticed that a lot of the assignments feel like busy work, and if given the option, the in-person classes are often much more educational. However, many students feel they don’t have enough room in their schedules to take advantage of in-person classes. Addison Allvine, a sophomore, has expressed her disinterest in AVA. Allvine said, “It just gets really tedious and boring and I don’t know how much I’m actually learning.”

When choosing to take a class virtually, Dubs must be sure to weigh the pros and cons. While taking an elective or half-credit class on AVA may prove to be beneficial, taking a more academically focused class could set a student back. Dubs must also be sure that they have the time to take on another class, as their homework levels will increase with the schedule addition. In the end, it is up to student discretion and reflection to decide if taking on another class is the right choice for them.