One third of freshmen receive second choice in academy selection

In an effort to give Fremont’s three academies a similar set of new students, administrators decided to give 32 percent of the students their second or third choice of programs rather than their first.
“I did not want to make it a popularity contest,” said Principal Daniel Hurst.
Each academy will get 53 sophomores next year despite an uneven number selecting Media Academy, Mandela Law & Public Service Academy and Architecture Academy.
Freshmen ranked the academies from first to third choice after getting a chance to see each program during tours in late April. Ninety-seven of them, or 68 percent, got their first choice; 43, or 30 percent got their second choice; and two students, or 2 percent, got their third choice. About 18 made no choice and were divided evenly among the three academies, according to school officials.
Eighty-two students chose Media Academy as their first choice, 46 chose Architecture Academy first, and 11 students chose Mandela Academy first.
Media Academy Director Michael Jackson was pleased with how many students chose his academy.“I feel good … makes me feel good knowing when I leave, the Media Academy will continue,” said Jackson, whose position was consolidated by what Hurst said was a move to save the Media Academy.
Over the years, the three academies have become uneven in their racial make-up. For example, last year the Architecture Academy was 19 percent African American, while Mandela Academy and Media Academy student bodies were made up of close to 40 percent African Americans. Administrators explained that the way they divided the freshmen would result in a nearly balanced set of students by race, gender and GPA.
According to Hurst, if students are not satisfied with their assigned academies, they must first talk to their parents, then the parents must contact the school for a meeting to come up with a solution.
Freshmen had mixed reactions to their assignments.
Jabree Spencer said was placed in an academy that does not focus on her career interests. “It’s not fair because I wanted Media,” said Spencer. “I like rapping and digital arts.”On the other hand, Tyreece Sherrill was pleased with his placement in Mandela.When asked if he was happy about his academy, Sherrill responded: “Yes, because I want to learn more about the law.”