Editorial – New Class Recommendations

While Marco Island Academy offers a number of AICE classes along with its core classes, a more extensive class catalog is essential to providing an improved learning experience for the entire school. The Editorial Board agrees that the inclusion of a more diverse set of classes would be beneficial to our growing student body. Our school does not fully cater to the different interests of our students. Some are left with classes that do not benefit them or their future, depending on their aspirations.

A common issue among rising seniors and underclassmen is that students run out of rigorous classes to take during their final years. This serves as a disadvantage to their final high school transcripts, as many colleges and universities like to see that students continue to challenge themselves during their senior year, rather than taking mostly elective classes. 

For many MIA students, dual enrollment opportunities at FSW provide an option to take challenging courses that MIA does not offer. However, this is not a complete alternative to taking on-campus classes. 

There are several drawbacks of dual enrollment. There is limited guidance from professors, which means it is more difficult for a student to get help with the material than if they were to take a course at MIA. Many students describe the workload as being too light to benefit their education, and some classes have a rather repetitive curriculum. There often is a lack of accessible textbooks, and students have also reported issues with the software required for the course. Some dual-enrollment students have even had to purchase new laptops solely so they can use that software. 

While not all students at the school engage with the AICE curriculum, offering a wider variety of on-campus courses in the form of AICE classes would encourage these students to take higher level courses, providing them with more opportunities for scholarships and academic growth. 

Additional course offerings at MIA would allow students to be more prepared for their future, and help them to discover an interest that they can later pursue. 


Our Mission (MIA)

As the community of Marco Island Academy, our school’s distinction thrives from our persistent dedication to opportunity. Whether that be providing perpetual support for the arts, encouraging our athletes and teams, or nurturing our academics, Marco Island Academy has never deterred success.

Providing a variety of opportunities for students of all interests, the favored customization of class schedules have continuously served as an outlet for possibility within our student body. However, as our time here as students crawls to and end, and frustration arises, a lack of a diverse range of classes, both elective and core, creates a cavity in the persistent work ethic of our students. Yet while this dilemma is significant, it is not unsolvable. 

What the students and surrounding community of Marco Island Academy continue to demonstrate, is our determination to accommodate for the good of our student body. As quickly as a concern arises, it is solved. Us students, utilizing the guidance of our administrators and supporters, have previously shown our perseverance and ability to achieve the goals and aspirations our community holds. So, though a lack of variety within our curriculum is apparent, it is not insuperable. With this, the Editorial Board proposes our accumulated thoughts to add substantial support to our long flourishing school and community.


The methodology behind our recommendations 

While the Editorial Board discussed which classes MIA should offer, we focused on the curriculum we believed would offer the most opportunities for the future, through classes that students are most interested in. We considered how these classes fit into the current course offerings, and the overall feasibility of offering them with MIA’s resources and physical capital. 

The Editorial Board created a survey containing the classes that fit this criteria, and asked students to indicate which classes they had the most interest in. In total, 94 students responded to the survey, consisting of 47 juniors, 20 sophomores, and 27 freshmen. The results from this survey have further been compiled into a list of classes, detailing curriculums that are both academically stimulating and interesting to the students, sorted by the feasibility of offering these courses at MIA. 

Easy to Implement

Within the current organization of classes at MIA, these courses have relatively simple solutions to be made available to students. We already have the staff for each of the new classes, as well as the resources required for each and every one.


AICE Physics

Rationale – This class would allow for students to earn college credits for science classes. The curriculum of this AICE class is quite similar to MIA’s current Honors Physics, but goes more in depth into the material. This could be a great way for students to decide if they would like to pursue a career in the science field. Additionally, it provides students with more opportunities to get their mathematics and sciences credit for their AICE Diploma. Students would also avoid taking a more difficult math or science class with less guidance in dual-enrollment, thus allowing students to learn with a more hands-on approach.

Although this class only interested about 38% of the junior class, 60% of sophomores showed interest, and 62% of freshmen did as well. This class is still a viable option, as it would gain even more participants in the future. 

What it looks like at MIA – AICE Physics could replace our current Honors Physics class. Our school has multiple science classrooms with various lab materials. Offering these classes would not be a burden in terms of paying for expensive equipment, or hiring staff to teach the curriculum. 


AICE Art and Design

Rationale – While MIA offers a few art classes that are very enjoyable, our school lacks a more rigorous curriculum for students looking to pursue art after high school. AICE Art and Design offers a more in depth learning experience of additional skills and mediums. 

The data collected from each grade corroborated offering AICE Art and Design at MIA. In 11th grade, 60% said they would be interested in taking the class, as did 65% of 10th graders and 62% of 9th graders. 

What it looks like at MIA – Offering these classes at MIA is not out of reach. AICE Art and Design could easily be implemented into an existing painting or drawing class. Though the material of AICE is a bit more rigorous, the content aligns to the classes we already have available.


Journalism/Yearbook/AICE Media AS-Level (year round)

Rationale – Students at MIA love our Journalism class, and the program is flourishing. For the past two years, the class has reached the maximum capacity of students. Therefore, students have to be turned away because there are no spaces left. Offering Journalism year round would allow more students with interests in the field to get more experience in writing and publishing. There is widespread interest amongst students which would support the decision for a year-round journalism class.

Not offering Journalism year round has drawbacks. The MIA Yearbook staff is a year-round operation that requires the editors and staff to work every day. The staff of The Wave are also put at a disadvantage because of this. The newspaper has less time to meet all the requirements to become recognized for SNO Distinguished Sites, NSPA Pacemaker awards, and CSPA awards.  

What it looks like at MIA – MIA has staff that is willing to extend the class another semester. This would allow our newspaper staff to strive for greater achievements and opportunities in the coming years, and increase motivation to do so. Because this class is not new to MIA, we already have the necessary resources and classroom space. Moreover, because AS-Level AICE Media Studies is offered during this class, it could naturally transition to A-Level Media Studies.


A-Level AICE Media Studies

Rationale – While interest level was low, offering A-Level credit for AICE Media would allow students to learn a wider range of analysis skills, expanding the knowledge gained from AS-Level Media Studies. In this class, students produce a short film and campaign of media products, quite similar to what is offered during Film and Design & Marketing classes. Since AS-Level AICE Media is already offered, the next step for students interested could be to earn their A-Level credit for the class.

What it looks like at MIA – A-Level AICE Media Studies could work into either a Film or Marketing and Design class, receiving separate guidance from that teacher to expand into the AICE curriculum, much like the way AS-Level Media Studies is offered during Journalism. 


AICE Digital Media and Design

Rationale – In this class, students build a portfolio based on a theme.  AICE Digital Media is a great opportunity for students to get experience with graphic design and using Adobe products such as Photoshop. This could even allow for students to get certified in Adobe in the future, which is a valuable resume item that would present career opportunities in graphic design. 

Students at MIA are mostly in favor of offering the AICE Digital Media and Design. Juniors stood at 47% approval, sophomores at 60%, and freshmen at 54%.

What it looks like at MIA – Bringing an AICE Digital Media class into MIA has a simple solution: being attached to an existing Creative Photography class. 


Require Additional Resources 

To implement the following courses, it may be necessary for MIA to move around current classes. They may require new materials, however they would not require new staff to run.


Law and Debate

Rationale – A Law and Debate course would serve as a way for students to learn about US law, which is important information for anyone. Those who have an interest in becoming a lawyer in the future would benefit from gaining experience in how a debate is structured. It would also teach students how to create strong arguments with proper support and evidence. The debate aspect would aid students in public speaking, another important future skill for a wide range of careers.

The survey responses show more support in favor of offering this class. For juniors, 62% agreed that Law and Debate would be a good addition to the class list. In sophomore year, 55% agreed, and for freshmen it was 58%. 

What it looks like at MIA – MIA has offered this class in the past. It would not be much of a complication to make it available again. If staff remains the same, there are a number of faculty members that could teach this class.


AICE Sociology

Rationale – MIA does not have classes that evaluate such subjects learned in AICE Sociology, and has been a popular class selection in dual-enrollment. AICE Sociology would be a very beneficial class to students here at MIA, especially those who have an interest in a career in social sciences. In turn, students would be earning valuable college credit for the course, therefore allowing them to receive their credits earlier on.

About half of the junior class supported an AICE Sociology class being introduced at MIA, however sophomores showed little interest, only about 35% said yes. The numbers rose again with the freshmen class, having 58% in support. 

What it looks like at MIA – Sociology could be taught alongside Psychology by current staff within our Humanities Department. In terms of classroom space and materials, it would not pose an issue.



Rationale – A Guitar class would be a great addition to MIA’s art program. Currently, we do not have many music-based classes. An opportunity for students to learn guitar would not only be a fun new hobby, but also help students who are aspiring musicians. 

Guitar class was about 50/50 among the grades. About 50% of juniors, 60% of sophomores, and 42% of freshmen supported the idea of having the option to take the class.

What it looks like at MIA – This course could take the place of one of the many art classes we offer. These classes are somewhat repetitive in material, meaning that the curriculum of the class being replaced could easily be absorbed by another art class. Moreover, we have a teacher at MIA who has experience with teaching a Guitar class. While the curriculum would be focused on acoustic guitar, students would be welcome to practice and learn other instruments as well, whether that be drums, bass, or keyboard. 

However, as much potential as this class has, some issues surrounding the introduction of this class to MIA include the acquiring of resources, the storage, and the volume. Acquiring enough guitars to supply an entire classroom can be expensive. Unless we rely on donations, a student fee will likely be necessary for the purchase and maintenance of the instruments. Alongside this, proper and convenient storage may be difficult to find. The final issue is the volume level. Twenty students playing guitar at once may be a disturbance and distraction to students and staff in the surrounding classrooms. While these issues are an inconvenience, they are all solvable, and likely worthwhile. 

Require New Staff and/or Resources

These are the classes that would be a little bit more difficult to implement, as it could mean that an outside hire is required or additional resources are necessary. However students show the highest interest in these subjects. This should serve as an incentive for our school to strive for offering these courses in the future.


AICE Travel and Tourism

Rationale – Travel and tourism are especially prominent in Marco Island and Naples. Marco Island is becoming an increasingly popular vacation spot, and therefore the demand for such workers is also growing. If students plan to stay in the general area, a great career opportunity could be in the hospitality industry. This class would serve as an introduction to key skills.

When asked if they would be interested in an AICE Travel and Tourism course, 68% of juniors, 75% of sophomores, and 62% of freshmen said yes.



Rationale – Learning about business is key to a student’s understanding of how a business functions. Students would learn valuable skills including personal finance, economic principles, as well as how to make sound consumer decisions. This course would be beneficial to all students, as business is such a common attribute of most careers.

For Business, the interest was overwhelming. With 74% of juniors, 65% of sophomores, and 88% of freshmen, this course would definitely not have a shortage of students taking it.