Feature,  News

The Voices of Satellite Students

Theogony editors Emily Milton and Chloe Yokitis spoke to five Satellite students about their experiences and thoughts about Satellite Campus and the greater ACHS.

Emily Milton, Chloe Yokitis


Response order has been edited for clarity.

Theogony: How long have you been going to Satellite?

Sophia Chapman, senior: This is my third year at Satellite.

Jailyn Bethea, junior: This is my first year.

Isaiah Robinson, junior: Same here, my first year.

Duncan McCall, sophomore: First.

Darcy Setliff, junior: This is, like, my first month. I used to go to King Street, but then I went to boarding school, and I left boarding school to come back, and I started at Satellite. 

Why did you think that Satellite was the option for you? 

Robinson: The environment is nice, and everyone here is nice, and they are welcoming, and it feels comfortable. Like, doing your work here can be so quiet.

McCall: So actually, I’m here for a different reason. I took some summer school classes that use the same program that we use here, so I just liked the interface and program, so I thought that doing the entire year might be nice.

What’s the community like here? Are you primarily friends with people at Satellite or at other campuses?

Chapman: I know a lot of people have friends at other campuses. Our SGA does different activities here; we’ve done game day events. Last week, we did a teacher trivia competition with some student participation. That was fun! We try to do different activities when we can, without disrupting the school schedule too much. But a lot of people eat lunch together here, and it’s like the same thing as the main campus, just a quieter environment overall. 

Bethea: It’s easy to make friends because everyone’s open. 

McCall: It’s just nice because the community here is so small and you’re able to get to know everyone—

Robinson: It’s more personal.

McCall: I’ve gone to like relatively small schools my entire life— like, less than 100 students per grade— so this is just something I’m more comfortable with than the several thousand that are at King Street campus.

Chapman: Because we are all non-standard, we don’t have an expectation that anybody’s gonna be a particular way. Like, we recognize how different we all are, and we’re all here for different reasons, and we’re accepting [of] one another.

McCall: There’s very little judgment.

Robinson: Little to none.

What is the most common misconception about Satellite?

Setliff: I think people don’t think it exists. Or they think that it’s fully virtual, and you don’t come to school. I didn’t know anything about it, so when I came to look at it before fully coming here, I was super surprised that people have to come in every day. And there’s a lot more teacher involvement than I thought. The classes are actually more interactive than ‘COVID-classes’ that a lot of people had [last year], so I think people are confused and think it’s more how they learned in 2020 and 2021 than Edgenuity. Like, [we] have to write essays, and you have to stay on top of it, versus doing nothing.

McCall: I feel like a lot of people think there’s either not a physical campus, [that] it’s just online school like last year, or [that] we’re doing less work that we’d be doing normally [in a standard school]. But really, it’s just the same amount of learning or work, just condensed into smaller packages. But yeah, I’d say the biggest misconception is that it’s just virtual school from last year, all year long.

Chapman: And on top of what you’re saying, we also have class sessions with our teachers and one-on-one meetings with our teachers. It’s not like we’re just taking online classes— 

Robinson: And sitting around doing nothing.

Setliff: People do socialize and go around and talk to each other and hang out. You don’t just sit at your computer all day. You can do what you want.

McCall: I mean, I just sit at my computer all day! I’m the odd one out here.

Chapman: I think another misconception is that a lot of people have one idea of why people would go to Satellite. It used to be a program that was more geared through graduating early. Some people think that it’s just like if you have a 504 Plan and need some accommodations, but really, some people are here because they want the more flexible environment, some people are here for mental or physical health reasons, [and] some people are here to graduate early. There’s not one reason why people come to Satellite.

Featured photo by Hanafia Arsad

This article is part of a three part series about Satellite Campus. To view the other two articles, click below:

The Forgotten Campus: ACHS’s Satellite

Is The Connected High School Network, Net-working?

Chloe (she/her) is a sophmore at Alexandria City High School! This is her first year at Theogony, and she is an incoming editor for the 2022-2023 school year. She enjoys covering local news stories. In her free time, she likes to read, sew, and spend time with her family.