Meet Map: Jada, Student

Here is a transcript of our conversation with Jada, a Map student.

Jada: I’m Jada Gums and I go to Map Academy. I found my way to Map Academy through my therapist. I got out of my therapist’s office and my mom handed me this circle thing and it said Map on the front. I was like, “What’s this?” She said it was a charter school that I could enroll into. I was like, “Okay.” I sat on it for a few weeks. I didn’t know what to do. She said that the deadline to enroll was coming up. I called Rachel and she said she would put my name in the lottery. A couple of days later, I got something in the mail that said I was accepted. I got excited about it. Here I am.

My mom and my grandparents think that it was a good choice for me. They think it was a good idea that I actually decided to enter the lottery that you enter to get into the school. They’re glad that I got accepted and that I’m staying with it. I was getting bullied in my last school so I thought it would be a good idea to find a different one. She thought this was a good idea. I really shut myself in at the old school, when I was getting bullied, I would sit in the back of the classroom. I would sit on my phone or I would just listen to music. I would really shut down every time I went into a class. It feels a lot better here to actually sit in front of people and know what I’m doing.

The social interaction is good. A lot of the people I’ve bumped into seem to be pretty nice. I have a couple of friends, but I don’t really socialize with people. It’s actually good connecting with teachers. I’m close with three of them right now. I first started talking to one of them in my homeroom class. The other one introduced herself to me. Then the last one, we just bumped into each other. Yes, it was more difficult to talk to teachers where I was but here I feel more safe to talk to them. They just seem a lot more open about their lives. They told us their first names. Usually, you’d get in trouble if you called them by their first names.
The fact that I can move at my own pace here, it’s a lot better than it was at. Like if you want to do math for the whole day, you don’t have to go to a different class every hour. You can stay in that class, all day.

Basically, when you go into your tracker, there’s a profile of your pictures and stuff, your name, your phone number, your mom’s contact or your dad’s contact. You can go to your to-do list. You have five tasks from every class. You don’t have to do five tasks specifically in every class I could do five math tasks and it would say it was done. It just gives you all your tasks that you need to do. You can click through them if you want to skip one. Really, I just tell the teacher if I skip one just so they know.

You can check your progress. It tells you how far along you are in the course, how your grades are doing. It shows you everything at that point. Sometimes if I sleep in too late one day, I get a little upset if I look up the tracker, because there’s like a graph that goes up and down with your progress. If it goes down all the way, I get upset. Yes. I’m trying to motivate myself to keep up
with myself.

Basically, when you get credit, you have to have a conference with the teacher about what happened in the course, what was most challenging for you and stuff like that. They sign a blue slip with your name and everything. You bring it up to Rachel and she signs it and then she announces it to the school. I like it though. I feel empowered when I get it.

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