The Program of Studies has been overhauled to greet a new building.
BY MATTHEW DORON, ’23 AND JAMES UNDERWOOD, ’23.
A new UAHS building will open its doors for the first time this August, but it will not be the only thing different during the 2021-22 school year. The year will also see major changes to the courses offered at UAHS. Students will be able to sign up for these new courses on Feb. 1, when the class scheduling portal opens on PowerSchool.
RESTRUCTURED ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
Most prominent among these changes is the restructuring of the English Language Arts department. In fact, the department has revamped its entire list of course offerings.
For example, what was formerly known as Freshman Literature and Composition is now 9TH Grade ELA Foundations I: The Author’s Craft, which is split into four separate courses, each with an honors counterpart. Freshman can choose between Design My Own Adventure, Star Wars, Survival Instincts/Nonfiction, and YA and Classics. These options allow students to choose their own concentrations of English literature instead of a general overview formerly taught in FLC.
This new structure continues in tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade. 10th Grade ELA Foundations II: Expanding the American Canon includes courses such as Topics in American Nonfiction, Hidden Voice, and Sport in America.
For juniors and seniors, the district has laid out “explorations,” semester-long courses that can serve as either electives or two years of English credits. To earn the recommended four years of English courses, students must take four of these semester-long courses, all of which have the prerequisite of ELA Foundations II. Some of these “explorations” include Shakespeare’s Genius, The Environment in Text, Comedy as a Language Art and Mad Men: American Narratives of Gender, Class, and Race.
A NEW AREA OF STUDY
The Program of Studies also includes a new department: research and design.
The first of two courses in this department is Game Day Productions, a semester-long elective available to all students, including those who have taken it previously. Students in the course will work with the athletics department and other groups to livestream games and other events and control the digital scoreboard.
The other research and design class is Leadership Theory & Practice, a yearlong prototype co-taught by UAHS Principal Andrew Theado and English teacher Laura Moore. The class will focus on developing leadership skills and managing projects, according to the Program of Studies. Students taking the class will choose between engaging with the Student Innovation Team or the UA Idea Day Team. The class is open to both sophomores and upperclassmen, but upperclassmen will be given preference due to the limited size of the prototype.
ADDITIONAL AND ARCHIVED COURSES
In addition to the new Research and Design courses, the new course offerings will include Honors Jewelry and Metals and American Sign Language III. Each course lasts both semesters and fulfills one credit. ASL III is available only to upperclassmen, while Honors Jewelry is open to sophomores and above.
The administration has also removed 15 total courses from last year’s Program of Studies, including Debate, Business Law, Music Theory and Lifeguarding Certification.