Physics Will No Longer Be a Graduation Requirement

In the 2024-25 school year, H-F will no longer be considering physics a graduation requirement in lieu of other classes being added.

According to the Director of Curriculum Dr. Jennifer Hester, the current requirement of three science classes will stay in place, but students will have more choices.

“We’ll have different kinds of physics like astrophysics and industrial physics in addition to the standard AP physics. We have students who are really interested in careers in engineering, fine arts, political science, environmental science, etc. This opens up opportunities so they can succeed in these pathways.”

This decision is currently being viewed in a semi-positive light by science teachers since the baseline AP physics course will still be an option.

“For some students who may not be as comfortable with the mathematical nature of physics it may still give them the chance to take a science class more aligned with either their interests or their strengths,” said physics teacher Stephen Banasiak. “Especially for people who are interested in the trades but still have to have a science credit, industrial physics provides a more hands-on approach but still involves physics.” 

Additionally, the math department is equally affected by this decision since physics is usually a math-heavy course.

“I like that the science department didn’t just recommend that this isn’t a requirement anymore they also are offering other alternatives,” said math department chair Robert White. “If we were just to step back and say “We’re going to get rid of this graduation requirement, and not do anything to support that,” then I would have many more concerns. But since they’re looking at doing some things around forensics and human anatomy and astronomy I think that’s really where we’re going to have interested students.”

With the construction of H-F’s new science building, the new classes being added to this building will add even more non-physics alternatives. 

“New physics classes will be added, in addition to an anatomy class, Astro-space classes and more. We’re also looking at adding classes to create a career pathway in Biomed,” commented Principal Clinton Alexander

Despite the positive faculty reaction, students who have taken or are actively taking physics aren’t too thrilled about it.

“[The change is] crazy because I had to do it so why don’t the other classes have to?” said senior Lucas Madonia.

On the other hand, freshmen who have not yet taken physics feel pretty differently.

Freshman Deja Mack stated, “I think it’s good because then you can take classes and electives that you’re actually interested in.”

However, not having the standard physics class as a requirement anymore could open the door to other classes that are usually considered “core” classes being changed as well.

“We have definitely been talking as department chairs, administrators and teachers about creating more choices and supporting students in their futures and pathways,” reported Hester. 

The administration’s hope is that this change will make everyone happy, even if a given student has minimal intention of applying physics to their future outside of H-F.

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