New classes add variety to course selection

By Staff Writer: Rachel BrauerPencils 01

Choosing classes for the incoming year can always be stressful, especially when one has their future to keep in mind. Howell High School has a mixture of new classes offered for the 2014-15 school year.

HHS yearbook, The Torch, has always been united, but in the upcoming school year, they are breaking the class up into two different sections: Yearbook Graphics and Yearbook Journalism. The art teacher Ms. Rose O’Reilly will be running the graphics class, while English teacher Mr. Joseph Miller will run the journalism side. Each individual class will be a year long and worth one credit.

Ms. O’Reilly, who is the current teacher for the yearbook class comments on the new changes.

“The school is so big that with two classes it gives more opportunity for everything that goes on to be covered,” says Ms. O’Reilly.

Due to student traveling being very limited between the Freshman Campus and the 10-12 building, the freshmen classes aren’t left with a lot of elective choices. Because of this current situation, the Exploring Career and Decision Making class, and the Child Development and Psychology class have been extended to the freshmen, which are both a semester long and worth half a credit.

“It gives the freshmen more options to pick from,” says Ms. Margaret Adrian, an assistant principal at HHS.

The Advanced Placement Biology and Advanced Placement Chemistry curriculums have also acquired new changes for the new school year. The classes have expanded into a two hour block, a change gratefully welcomed by students and teachers due to the time crunch the current one hour classes creates.

Ms. Dawn Somers, one of HHS’s AP Bio teachers, explains the decision and reasoning behind the changes.

“College Board changed the AP Bio program and their intent to make the class more inquiry based. More group discussions and research will be accommodated for, and the extra time should allow us to complete the activities and labs,” says Somers.

Sign Language has added a second year for the freshman class due to the new two-year language requirement.

It has also been made a requirement for students interested in participating in the Highlander Restaurant their senior year, they must have completed Nutrition and Culinary Exploration 1 and 2.

Another fresh face is the Global Issues and Current Events class, which is an semester long social studies elective created by the history teacher Mr. Chris Andrews. Students will be introduced and made mindful to the multitude of changes brought upon by the 21stcentury, such as the current social, political, cultural, and economic situations in the surrounding community, states, nations, and world. This class includes a lot of group discussion and encourages the expansion of personal opinions, and is open to the freshmen and upperclassmen.

PowerSchool will also have a game change. Teachers will be able to post assignments and daily lessons. Students and parents can then access missed work instead of calling the school for the absent work.

“I think it will give the students more choices to help them be successful,” Ms. Adrian says.