For the first time in several years, East will technically be offering only one new class. Despite a large number of new classes being generally offered every year, the district announced that there would be very few changes in East’s course listing next year.
One of the main changes implemented this year was renaming and slightly changing several classes. For the 2013-2014 school year, the Forensics class will be renamed to Competitive Speech and Drama. What used to be Math Enhancement, a class whose purpose was to aid students who need help with the Kansas Assessment requirements, has now been changed due to the Core Curriculum and renamed Math Extension.
“Students are selected to be in [Math Extension] determined by what class they’re in now, their grades and their test scores,” Counseling department head Deanna Griffey said. “It’s basically going to help them fill those gaps in math so that they can be successful as they continue through the math sequence in high school.”
Several classes at East will also be cut, including Algebra 1A and 1B. Each year the master schedule is built according to what students choose to take, with classes being cut due to either lack of demand or of funding.
Another big change in the curriculum is the addition of Accelerated French 1 and 2. Starting next year, in addition to French 1 and 2, there will be a combination class for students wishing to advance more quickly in the program.
“We thought it would be a good idea for students who have had another language or wanted to pick up French,” French teacher Laure Losey said. “Or for students who didn’t have a chance to take a language in middle school, [this] will give them the opportunity and help them if they want to go into IB or AP later on.”
Accelerated French 1 and 2 is taught at a faster rate than the separate French 1 and French 2 classes. The course is year-long and will count as a French 2 credit, with each Accelerated French student taking the same tests as French 2 students.
Accelerated French has been tested at Shawnee Mission Northwest with enough success for the new class to be offered at East. Despite its success, current French 1 student and Indian Hills eighth grader Trenton Hawes has mixed feelings about it.
“It’ll help people who haven’t taken the French 1 course already,” Hawes said. “[But] I wouldn’t consider taking it.”
Both middle schoolers and high schoolers enrolling for next year can take Accelerated French 1 and 2. Enrollment for eighth graders, freshmen, sophomores has already ended, while juniors are finishing their enxrollment next week.