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New Courses Change Up The Halls

Grace Tadajweski Editor-In-Chief

While the thick newspaper style educational planning guide may trigger anxiety in some students, the guide is also a source of excitement as many students anticipate choosing their classes for the next year.

The planning guide is similar to last year’s, with its main changes being two new offered courses and several course name changes. However, unlike last year, online course registration will be open from Jan. 25 to Feb. 3 with courses hopefully being fully finalized by April instead of July.

“Put in the time now and take it seriously,” said principal Chris Groff. “First, look at what it is you want to do, and the second part is to look at our course offerings and try something new. You've got to take the time to use the electives, and I would also tell kids don't worry so much about the weight of the GPA that's connected to each class.”

To help students adapt to the early deadline, guidance counselors will be providing extra support for questions and concerns, both during and outside of school hours. Close to the deadline, guidance counselors will be holding lunch chats in the cafeteria for students to talk to any available counselor about course registration.

“We have after-school hours set up for three days, but it's always good to just kind of double-check with your counselor,” said guidance counselor Sarah Gebhard. “(Counselors) can review your transcript, especially if you're going into junior or senior year, making sure that you have like what you need to graduate.”

The guidance counselors will be available after school on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 and 2 from 2:30-7 p.m. All course registration materials are due to English teachers by Feb. 6.

Although it is not a department course change, the guidance office is particularly excited about the addition of a peer tutoring credit. This can be used towards service hours as well which adds a new dimension to courses offered.

“We’re hoping that takes off, and there will be a lot of requests for it,” said Gebhard.

Commercial Art is now named Commercial Photography. Technical Writing is now named Practical English, and Family and Consumer Sciences is now named Tools for Success.

Additionally, AP Calculus AB will no longer be offered as College in the High School.

The Fashion, Apparel, and Textiles course along with the Falcon Edge; a Mindset and Mental Performance course, are two new electives for the 2023-2024 school year.

“I think we really enjoy having a lot of elective choices because it gives students a chance to explore possible careers,” said Gebhard. “High school can help prepare them for that, so I kind of get excited when there's new electives added that might pique an interest for a future career.”

The Falcon Edge course is a one semester course available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

The course will delve into a wide array of topics not covered in most classes such as leadership, resilience and reflection.

“(The course) is a great opportunity to work with students and explore different sets of topics to help them in their lives,” said social studies teacher Brandon Risser. “I would encourage students to take this course if they are interested in exploring the components of maximizing their performance in a whole different set of scenarios like in the classroom, on the playing field, on the stage, in the future, and in job interviews.”

The course aims to prepare students for life after high school while simultaneously positively impacting their current life.

“It's not just for sports,” said Risser. “But, I truly would love to see students interested in leadership, in performance, the quarterback of the football team and the drum major sitting beside each other and talking and having conversations about leadership, about performance. And it travels with you beyond the walls of Cedar Crest.”

Also incorporating new topics to the school is the semester-long Fashion, Apparel, and Textiles course. It is an addition to the Family and Consumer Sciences department and is available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

“I am excited for this new course because I think that’s what keeps kids interested in education,” said FCS department leader Darren Grumbine. “There's a bunch of students here that are interested in fashion, design, and interior design, and it gives them an application from all their other classes to do something real and hands-on.”

The course allows students to explore the principles of design while working with sketches and sewing machines, focusing on creativity and exploration.

“Between education and how this applies to life after school, this is another one of those courses where we can get kids education to create for a whole bunch of different careers: residential interior design, commercial interior design, fashion, the sales part of it, the marketing part of it,” said Grumbine.

After three years of prior course selection, juniors finally get to experience the most freedom when they register for their senior year courses. Seniors are only required to take six credits in total, with one of them being English and the rest being electives.

“(I am excited to take) AP Environmental Science because I would get to be with Mr. Strait,” said junior Jacob Perhonitch. “He’s a mad cool guy.”

Juniors also have the option to take open campus their senior year. Students can take a maximum of two periods of open campus if they do not take lunch.

“(I would recommend that underclassmen take) Thinking Green,” said junior Emma Johnson. “It’s fun. You get to do a bunch of different projects, and it’s kind of just an easy A to get credits.”

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