Choices expanded in MCL, KW, and the arts

Several new classes are added to the next Program of Studies


International Food is among the courses to be changed in the Program of Studies for the 2018 school year | Gonzalez

May Paddor, News Editor

The board of education has solidified the changes for the 2018-2019 Program of Studies, including six class proposals, three course revisions and 14 class name changes.

The new classes range from Advanced Health and Wellness to Chinese 5, all catered towards students’ needs.

There were a variety of factors that prompted these changes.

“Some of the things that prompt changes in the curriculum are when departments have seen low enrollment or courses that haven’t run in a long time. That’s the time that often prompts a need for change,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Peter Tragos.

There are several course revisions, including new curriculums for International Food, now known as Real-World Cooking for Seniors, and Computer Imaging, now called Digital Photography and Imaging 1, 2, 3.

More name changes include Lifeline to Wellness for Life and Senior Math Survey to Introduction to Finite Math and Statistics.

Not every class will be returning to the Program of Studies. Both 3D Multimedia and Animation and Multimedia Development 1 and 2 will be discontinued for 2018-2019.

The process to take classes out of the Program of Studies is much different than to put classes into the Program of Studies.

The process of putting a course into the program is much longer than that of removing one. “It’s important to prune our course selection; too many choices is not always the right thing to do either,” said Tragos.

Advanced Health and Wellness will be starting next year for seniors.

The new course, according to Kathrine Goodman, Kinetic Wellness teacher and creator of the new wellness course, will delve into topics of more interest to seniors.

“Hopefully they can then research careers or their own specific interests in that area.”

Kinetic Wellness teacher and the other creators of the new wellness course Laura Deutsch said, “there are a lot of the topics covered in sophomore health are geared towards the sophomore. But the seniors have a different take on some of the concepts, like sexuality, LGBTQ, wellness and health or eating in college. Each quarter will be different.”

This senior-only class will focus on learning to take care of one’s self for what comes after high school. “First quarter will be more fitness-based. The goal is to have each student have a fit tracker and in second and third quarter, they will be off on their own. Third and fourth quarter will be in the classroom,” said Goodman.

Though “health” is in the title, students will not be able to switch to Advanced Health and Wellness for sophomore health.

“You have to have a prerequisite of freshman and sophomore year health. This will be an elective, instead of taking a Team-block class or a Lifeline Activities class,” said Goodman.

Courses like Advanced Health teach students life-long skills. “One way courses like Advanced Health and Wellness and Real World Cooking are meant to help students develop the dispositions, habits of mind and skills to live independently and make good choices in their own lives,” said Tragos.

Along with Advanced Health and Wellness, Chinese 5 will be added to the Program of Studies, but it will not run until 2019-2020.

Students in the class of 2019 were offered Chinese as fifth graders at Wilmette Junior High, enabling them to start with Chinese 2 as freshmen.

Modern Classical Language department chair Stacey Stark-King said, “Chinese 5 is geared towards the students that started Chinese as fifth graders. This will impact our kids who started in elementary school and help meet the needs of the heritage speakers.”

Chinese 5 will provide students on the level 4 and 3 track a place to go after finishing Chinese 4.

Chinese teacher Sara Chao said, “The class will have more contemporary issues and there will be a movie. We will still study AP themes because the students who don’t take AP can still take Chinese 5 down the road.”

According to Chao, “It will not be an AP class. We will focus on the themes but it will not focus on the test.”

Even with all the changes to the 2018-2019 Program of Studies, the curriculum is not done changing and evolving.

Tragos said, “I’m pretty excited about the new course offerings we have. It adds a freshness of approach to what is happening in the world today reflects up-to-date best practices.”