Monte Vista commits to continuing clubs

School moves club fair online in Zoom meetings

One key part of the high school experience is club participation, and the Monte Vista High School administration and club leaders say they are committed to continuing the club experience even during virtual learning.

Monte Vista is home to nearly 100 clubs, ranging from academic assistance such as Chemistry Club to hobby pursuits such as Baking Club to community affairs such as Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA).

Each year Monte Vista holds a club fair in the amphitheatre during lunch. Club leaders set up booths and students walk around to ask questions. 

But COVID-19 forced the school to abandon this on-campus procedure and take the club fair online. Club presidents each hosted their own Zoom meeting with their links posted on the Monte Vista website. Students could come and go to the meetings to ask for information to emulate the traditional club fair experience.

Although the administration initially planned only one club fair, two fairs were held on Sept. 11 and Oct. 1. Monte Vista principal Kevin Ahern said this was due to technical difficulties that prevented some club presidents from holding meetings during the initial fair.

“I’ve gotten some feedback from people who did not get access,” Ahern said. “So as a result I wanted to make sure they do, and hence the idea of doing a 2.0 version of it…. We wanted to ensure as many people as possible were involved.” 

Ahern said he made it a point to attend many of the virtual club booths.

 “I didn’t hit all of them, but my feedback from the club presidents was that it went reasonably well,” Ahern said. “We got a lot of people signed up and, if anything, I’ve noticed a lot of club Instagram accounts being posted and a lot of communication going around. I think that’s an indication of success.”

Despite the administration’s determination for the clubs to continue, some club leaders have found the online format to be a challenge. 

Samantha Flores, a Monte Vista junior and the mechanical lead for the Robotics club, said that going from an in-person experience to a virtual one has been a difficult transition, especially since clubs like Robotics rely on competitions and other in-person activities.

“We have figured out how to do things online, but it’s hard to help everyone troubleshoot issues virtually,” Flores said.

Part of Flores’s job as mechanical lead is to teach the new club members how to use the power tools in the club’s shop. However, with all meetings now being held through Zoom, showing newcomers the basics hasn’t been easy. 

“It’s nearly impossible to [teach them] remotely without some sort of online simulation for the same tools we use,” Flores said.

Monte Vista junior Karis Choi, vice president of Cranes for Hope, was uneasy going into this year. Cranes for Hope is a community service club that folds origami cranes for projects to donate to local senior centers and hospitals to promote healing. However, with the impact of COVID-19, coordinating donations has been difficult.

“It’s harder to do the activities that we used to do in person,” Choi said. “We had to find ways to still get members involved and give them the materials they need.”

Because many members had limited access to the origami paper Cranes for Hope uses, Choi and the club board decided to hand-deliver the material. They split club members into groups depending on where they lived, and each club leader dropped off a stack of paper at the homes closest to them.

Sophomore Alexa Sauer said she likes the online club experience. Sauer is a member of Monte Vista’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), a club that focuses on business-oriented opportunities for students. She believes the club will do well despite being fully remote. 

“I’ve been enjoying it,” Sauer said. “Obviously it’s not the same experience as it would be at school, but I still think we can accomplish the same goals. I think the club has done a good job adjusting to the online platform.”

Sauer said the FBLA leadership created presentations to teach the necessary information to the club members and is currently figuring out how to compete online.

Although there had been difficulties in preparing for Monte Vista’s clubs to go virtual, Ahern said the administration was determined to push forward with clubs this year.

“My assumption is that other schools have taken on different models, but we were definitely one of the first ones to mention the idea that we’re going to do clubs,” Ahern said. “When we were talking about it back in August, everyone was saying, ‘You’re going to continue doing that?’ Yeah, and it’s nice to be at the forefront.”

More information on Monte Vista High School clubs can be found on the school website at