New classes added to H-F curriculum

Adekemi Kasali, News Editor

Right now, H-F students are selecting their classes for the 2019-2020 school year. This year there are 11 new courses available.

Some new courses include Quantitative Literacy, a senior year class, that allows students to earn place in a 100 level math course at the community college of their choice. Another new course is AP Seminar, the first course in the AP Capstone program.

It is a research based course that prepares students for the next course in the Capstone sequence, AP Research. Students who earn a three or higher on both the AP Seminar and Research exams in addition to four other AP exams will receive a Capstone diploma.

The other new courses for the 2019-2020 school year is Creative Writing 2, African American Literature, AP Foundations, IB Math SL: Calculus AB, Intervention for Success Seminar 1 and 2, Honors Psychology, IB Psychology HL 1, and IB Mandarin Language B.

Nancy Spaniak, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, is in charge of adding new courses to the curriculum each year. She said proposals for new courses come from a variety of people.

“The departments usually bring forth new course proposals, but before they do they always talk with me,” Spaniak said. “Sometimes it [proposals] come from administration and other times it’s just in the plan, like when we adopted IB Mandarin, we always knew it would be our goal to get to the fifth year.”

The International Baccalaureate program has been going on for many years at H-F and is going through some changes next school year. Now incoming freshman who have completed Algebra 1 Honors can start 9th grade with Geometry Honors and still earn an IB Diploma. This is made possible with the addition of the IB SL Calculus AB course.

“This decision was made to give students more time. Prior to this students who completed Algebra 1 as 8th graders had to take Geometry over the summer and a lot of kids successfully passes but some of them didn’t,” Spaniak said. “Before, kids who are strong students in other areas were kind of being cut out.”

IB Coordinator Matt Knoepke said another reason why new IB courses were added was because of students who left and graduated the program who gave feedback about their experiences.

“The most common reason why students left the program was the lack in flexibility in choosing courses and courses not matching what their career interests were. Along with the students that graduated they said they wanted more first choices,” Knoepke said. “Year after year students would talk about flexibility with the math courses and taking a psychology course. That’s where the idea to add these new courses came from.”

AP Foundations is an English course that assists students taking an AP class for the first time. It is offered as a Pass/Fail course.

“An AP class can be challenging, it is a college level course. A lot of independent work is required and there  is a broader expectation of the amount of work that will be completed,” Guidance Department Chair James Schmidt said. “Students adjusting to the change in learning and work need some extra support. If you’re going to be take an AP class you want to make sure you get as much out of it as possible.”

Students will register for classes throughout the month of February.

The most courses are being added to the English department and department chair Janet Daniels is hoping a lot of students sign up for them.

“Any student at any level would be welcomed, I think having our Creative Writing 1 class being open to freshman will allow the