In recent years, the administration has led an unrelenting campaign to increase the enrollment of students into IB classes.
Its intentions are well placed: to give students a more worldly academic perspective that the IB program specializes in offering to its participants, and to have students’ transcripts filled with higher-level classes that show colleges a deep interest in learning and academics.
For the most part, it has been largely successful. Art and theatre enrollment is up, with students taking the IB electives, especially now that the workload is manageable because of new programs like office hours and the “golden bear” reprieve passes.
But while the increase in art and theatre classes is certainly something to celebrate, the lesser-known fact is that other departments which don’t have IB options—and are therefore not as highly promoted by the administration—are struggling to keep up adequate enrollment, namely the communications department.
Enrollment in the Journalism II elective is at its lowest point in recent years, with only five students enrolled for the 2009-10 school year. It’s not even granted its own period; it will have to share an already completely-filled room with the Arlingtonian staff.
Moreover, because of the dwindling journalism enrollment, the administration has proposed discontinuing the Journalism II elective, thus lowering the overall preparedness of students when they join the newspaper staff.
This problem was not the intention of anybody, and we don’t wish to blame the administration, as we know its promotion of the IB program was in students’ best interests. However, they, and all students, staff and faculty, should be cautious that we don’t focus our efforts solely on enhancing the IB program. Other programs have in the past provided academic experience of equal, or for some students greater value. In fact, it is the diversity of available academic pursuits that make this high school such a great institution, and we’d be foolish to forget that.