Too many graduation requirement changes for freshman

Jael Smith

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Illustration by Jael Smith

One of the options of changing schedules because of the addition of a full year of health.

When the counselors first came into math classes they went over the usual spiel: you need to plan out your future because high school is the step into higher education. But this year, two requirements changed for the class of 2025. First, a year of health is now required as opposed to what used to be only a semester. Second, you have to take two consecutive years of the same language. The requirements themselves are not bad; however, as of announcing the changes, they have not come up with the curriculum for the second semester of health.

There is a valid idea in making students have a full year in health and that is not why this article is being written. But the way that they introduced this idea was odd. They sent counselors to math classes to talk about creating a schedule for the following year. In the presentation, they always give the same talk to people about how you need all of these specific credits that you have known since sixth grade but they just majorly changed it without explanation.

There are many other classes that could be options that also could help you later in life. For example, a drivers ed class so you can prepare to drive during school, or a class that teaches you the real life skills of adulthood like how to do taxes and write a resume. High school is supposed to prepare students for the future and life past high school but a lot of the courses are just math, English and science, a basic education. This would be more beneficial to students than a full year of health. Having to take the same language boxes a lot of students into something that they may have tried but did not like and then are stuck with it for two years. With the APEX program already keeping a lot of students stuck with classes they don’t like, this adds to the weight that they have on their shoulders. In middle school when students take P.E., one quarter of that class is health. Every year they teach the same things over and over in the same way. A whole year of hearing: “Sex is bad, don’t do drugs, what are the benifits of eating healthy?” would be unbearable.

This change could have happened for the current eighth or seventh grade classes when they had the curriculum available to them. This now has changed how many students have planned for the future. They could have to drop an elective in senior year because they have to take an additional semester of health. The counselor told students in eighth grade to make a four year plan of what classes you should take and then spring on in freshman year you need to change that somewhat drastically. This can add a lot of stress to the students who are extremely aware and scared of their grades dropping and not being in control of their class load.

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