The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

New electives enrich academic opportunities at WJ

New+electives+will+be+available+from+the+next+school+year.+The+two+new+AP+courses%2C+AP+Seminar+and+AP+African+American+Studies+have+especially+appealed+to+students+at+WJ.+Sometimes+I+wish+I+had+a+fifth+year+so+I+could+take+the+electives+I+wasnt+able+to+fit+into+my+schedule%2C+senior+Ziqing+Chu+said.
Sara Karbowski
New electives will be available from the next school year. The two new AP courses, AP Seminar and AP African American Studies have especially appealed to students at WJ. “Sometimes I wish I had a fifth year so I could take the electives I wasn’t able to fit into my schedule,” senior Ziqing Chu said.

In addition to unique electives such as child development and comparative religion, new electives will be offered at WJ from the 2024-2025 school year.

AP African American Studies
This course is a new AP Social Studies elective that will be offered starting next school year and students in grades 10-12 can enroll. AP African American Studies is a new course that the College Board piloted during the 2022-2023 school year. 60 schools offered it last school year and currently, according to the National Education Association, it is now taught in over 700 schools.

The College Board describes the course as “an interdisciplinary course that draws from a variety of fields—history, literature, the arts, geography, science—to explore the vital contributions and experiences of African Americans, from ancient African societies to the present.”

“I think it’s really interesting to learn about different cultures, especially African American culture because Africa is such a huge continent and how unique African American culture evolved and is present in the US.” junior Mia El Natour said.

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Media In Society
This course is a new English elective that will be offered at WJ. Media in Society examines the intersection of media, culture and society. By taking this course, students will be able to develop independent judgments about media content through mass media like news, TV, film and social media. The course also explores the history of mass media, media literacy and perspectives on mass communication consumption. Towards the end of the curriculum, the course covers the media’s influence on culture and the role of media in our lives.

AP Seminar
This course is a new AP English elective that will be offered next school year and students in grades 10-12 can enroll. AP Seminar is a relatively new course introduced by the College Board in 2014. Now, it is offered at over 1,100 schools across the country. It is one of the required courses to complete the AP Capstone Diploma Program, which is likely to be offered at WJ sometime in the future.

According to the College Board, “AP Seminar is an interdisciplinary course that encourages students to demonstrate critical thinking, collaboration and academic research skills on topics of the student’s choosing.”

“I’ve heard good things about this course from a friend from another school. I think I might research science-related topics if I get to take AP Seminar,” sophomore Clara Frank said.

Africa South of the Sahara
This course is a new Social Studies elective that will be offered at WJ. Africa South of the Sahara enables students to learn about African history through studying the forces and events that have changed and are changing the cultures of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. The curriculum consists of topics like traditional culture, European impact, nationalism and revolution and contemporary situations.

New courses enable students to have a class schedule that aligns more closely with their interests and passions. Electives that cover unique topics are also an opportunity for students to be inspired by learning that takes place outside of core courses.

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About the Contributor
Sara Karbowski, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Editor
Senior Sara Karbowski is excited to join the Pitch as an Equity and Inclusion editor! It is her first year on the Pitch and she likes to write haikus in her free time.
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