Miramonte Needs Shop Classes

Rebecca Gluck, Staff Writer

At the end of eighth grade, the halls of middle school were abuzz with discussion about which high school classes to sign up for. Amidst the excitement, some students were disappointed to find that Miramonte didn’t offer shop classes, and that they would have to go to another school in the district to take one. It would be beneficial to students if Miramonte embraced the idea of shop classes on campus.
Any student in the AUHSD school district has the opportunity to go to other schools within the district to take a shop class. Campo, Las Lomas, and Acalanes offer Auto Technology, Campo and Las Lomas offer Wood Technology, Acalanes offers Design/Fabrication Technology, and Campo offers Furniture Design.
Part of the problem is that students are unaware that the option to go to another school for a shop class exists. This information is not widely known and isn’t broadcasted in particularly conspicuous places.
Making shop classes available to anyone in the district is a good alternative to not taking any shop classes at all, but traveling to another school for a class is an inconvenient and unappealing option. Acalanes offers seven periods of Auto Technology, so the problem is not lack of availability. “It’s very rare that students take a shop class at another school because of the time it takes to drive to another school,” Associate Principal Jan Carlson said.
Miramonte used to have an auto shop located in the current crafts room, but the auto technology program was replaced with other art classes years ago.
Shop classes teach vital mechanical and craftsmanship skills. By taking an auto technology class, students are prepared to solve sometimes unglamorous but frequent real-world problems. These occupations are just as honorable as any other profession.
Not all students are academically inclined. Some prefer and excel at activities that allow them to be creative, something that shop classes such as woodshop fulfil.
Academics are obviously important, but many students will go into jobs that require the information taught in shop classes. Some Miramonte graduates will become manual workers. Without shop classes, students aren’t exposed to certain disciplines they could potentially fall in love with.
“Classes like woodshop are much more fun than just plain art. You’re making something that will last a long time and actually building something instead of drawing on a piece of paper. I would have taken woodshop at Miramonte if they had offered it,” junior Humna Gohar said.
Shop classes teach skills that are applicable to everyday life. At the same time, they encourage problem-solving and creativity. While creating new shop programs at Miramonte is impractical and is unlikely to happen, the Miramonte community should put in more effort to make known the different shop classes that the district offers.