Old School, New Tricks

by SAMANTHA ENGLAND - Westfield High School will see 20 new classes next school year, to the delight of many students who don’t always see classes focused on their favorite subjects.


WESTFIELD, Ind. (Jan. 11, 2019) - It seems that the WHS course book changes every year: new classes added, old ones dropped and prerequisites changed. Next school year will be no different as many fresh opportunities will await students. Brandon Hoke (11) is one student ready to embrace these new classes.


“I’ve been fascinated by dinosaurs for pretty much my entire life,” Hoke said. “As soon as I found out there was going to be a class about them, I immediately knew what I was going to take as a science credit for next year.”


The class Hoke is referring to is Jurassic Paleontology, a one-credit science course for Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors. The class goes beyond dinosaurs, as it includes an in-depth study of the prehistoric era, as well as a study of the fossils of plants and animals that were alive then. Before this class was introduced, the closest one could get to learning about dinosaurs and fossils was by taking Biology or maybe Earth Space Science.


However, this is only one of twenty new classes being offered next year. Another popular option is AP Spanish Literature and Culture. College Board first offered this course in 2014, and 2019 will be its first at WHS. While Hoke heard about Jurassic Paleontology at his scheduling meeting, Alyssa Smith (11) has been looking forward to AP Spanish Literature and Culture since she was a sophomore.


“I heard about the class last year when my friend started writing a letter to get it approved at WHS,” Smith said. “I’m really excited to read some of the classics like Borges and improve on my Spanish skills.”


This new collection of classes won’t just be focusing on one subject at a time, but craft a hybrid of possibilities. These specialized classes may prove helpful in preparing students for realistic careers. For example, Medical Spanish I and II, two separate classes one trimester apiece. Each focuses on a different aspect of medical science--in Spanish. A future student of Medical Spanish, Sophia Novak (11) is excited to see two subjects she loves collide.


“I’m hoping that there’s some sort of anatomy unit because anatomy and Spanish are both things that really interest me,” Novak said.


Novak is taking the second “level” of Medical Spanish. It focuses on body systems and medical procedures, while the first level focuses on patient interaction. Both classes will be almost full-immersion.


It remains to be seen how successful all of these new classes will be, but by combining interests with curriculum at least one thing is for certain. Westfield High School is giving students the best opportunity to prepare for their future now more than ever.

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