Academics / Community

New Courses and Offerings for Next School year

During the next academic year, there will be new course offerings in the Performing Arts, English, and Math departments along with a few changes to the Social Studies course selection process. These courses and changes are here to help students have exposure to a variety of options that they were not able to take last year. These courses include changes to the Social Studies electives, and additions in Performing Arts, Math, and English.

The Social Studies department has undergone small but tremendous change in the last couple of months. In the past, students were only able to take certain courses every year since electives were offered in alternative years. Some even opted to take a 6th major in order to take a course that wouldn’t be offered when they preferred to take it. Now, however, students can rank the electives they want to take from 1-3, resulting in the department only running classes that hold the most interest. Though some classes may eventually be discontinued because of lack of appeal, both students and teachers feel this is for the best.

In the Performing Arts department, Mr. Coleman will be teaching a new ½ credit course called History of Women in Music that will fulfil the performing art requirement. The class will have some performance and creativity components, but “there will also be lots of learning about history and culture and impact on musical genres,” says Ms. Keimowitz, head of Upper School. So look for this class if you want to learn about influential women in music and how awesome they are, and if you haven’t completed your performing arts credit. It will be offered in alternating years with the other course called Songwriters’ Experience. For example, In 2018-2019 Mr. Coleman will teach History of Women in Music and 2019-2020 he will teach Songwriters’ Experience.

The Math and English departments will each have one new course, so they won’t be undergoing drastic changes. In Math, the senior elective called Mathematical Reasonings Across the Disciplines is being replaced by the new course, Introduction to Calculus and Statistics. It is a course that will be taken by seniors who took either took Pre-Calculus as juniors or did not want to or could not qualify to take the AP AB or BC Calculus courses. This new course offers exposure to statistics, but AP Statistics is still being offered, so statistics lovers need not worry. As for English, there is a new Senior AP Literature elective called Being Human: Literature of the Monstrous and the Humane, which Dr. Keely is going to teach. This is just another option for those looking to take an AP Lit class senior year.

Though many of these changes and additions are small, they impact all students as they begin to shape their schedules for the next academic year. Students can now take more classes they prefer, as they have a wider variety of options. Those interested in taking a class that isn’t offered already even have the ability to try and make that class a reality, as student input is directly considered by department heads. For example, for years, seniors wished they had the opportunity to take Economics and Psychology in their senior surveys. Now, Economics is offered by Mr. Cook, and Psychology is still being considered by department heads.  If you want to suggest any other class, be sure to contact the department head.