While Aragon currently has a wide assortment of courses for students to take, the school will introduce two new options for the 2017-2018 school year — Math 190 and Dance.
Although courses about career choices and personal finance had been added to the course request sheet earlier in the spring, those courses weren’t implemented due to lack of student interest.
Currently, since there are limited options for seniors in terms of math classes, the school will present an alternative option instead of statistics class, Math 190. Co-Math Department Head Cheri Dartnell says, “The purpose is to offer another choice for seniors, in terms of their math course instead of Pre-Calculus, Calculus or Finite Math and Statistics [after algebra 2] … It’s intended to bypass the community college tests, so that they can get directly into a transferable college course at the community college.” She also adds, “Last year we chose not to offer it because we didn’t have enough students at the time, it was really short notice and we did not want to make decisions for students if they wanted to take a four-year university versus community college.”
Co-Math Department Head Adam Jacobs says, “Not a lot of students have requested this course. People may have not known about it. The district is still choosing some types of curriculum that will be used in this class. We are making sure that what should be taught in that class will be used towards community college.” He also says, “I think this course is going to be great. It will help students be able to get ahead before getting to college.”
Junior Maria Reinosa says, “This is math you’re going to use in your everyday life, I took this class over Pre-Calculus because Pre-Calculus is a class you would take if you want to become a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer, finite is more of what you would take to help you in everyday life.” She also says, “Colleges know that you have a lot to deal with, by taking a class already and not needing to take it in college can help since you can take more classes that you want, or take required classes, that you don’t need to take the next year of your college studies.”
Furthermore, Dance will be a new course in the performing arts category. Regarding dance, Orchestra and Choir director John Chen says, “It’s an art form that we currently are lacking at our school … I have had some sort of dance feature at my concerts for the last few years … I’m hoping and looking forward for this course being offered again.”
He also adds, “I don’t think it will affect me and my classes, the ones who want to dance will be dancers. People can easily do both music and dance.”
Sophomore Megan Alaina says, “Dance is about body language and being able to communicate through choreography, and it’s really beautiful. I believe dance is such a beautiful form of art and expression, I would be very excited if Aragon had a new dance program or class for all the dancers. Dance is not very active at Aragon. People who are really passionate about dance should continue and pursue it even in their college life.”
There is a long process to successfully implementing a new course. Assistant principal Ron Berggren says, “Academic and individual departments suggest the possibility of a new course, and it’s talked over departments, department chair and the principal. The second stop would be that you would put it on the course request sheets, and find out if there is student interest or not. You need about 25 to 30 students that are showing interest in it to have a class.” Regarding the new courses, he adds, “For dance we have a credentialed teacher but she can only teach for one period. The Dance class has around 56 students enrolled. For math 190, the math department is trying to work out whether there are one or two sections.”
The administration will examine the data they find from the students’ progress next year to assess whether the courses should continue, to ensure that available courses support students’ needs and passions.