Students express interest in new class options


Al Woods

On Thursday, January 19 and Friday, January 20, course workshops were held to gauge student interest in new courses that may be offered in the 2017-18 school year.


The English department wants to add a creative writing class, which would help students develop their reading and writing skills through expressive forms.


“In most high school classes, we don’t get many opportunities to learn from a creative point of view. That’s something that I really like, and I think that it’s great that the class might be added,” sophomore Magnolia Dettmer said.


The World Languages department proposed a Spanish class for native speakers. Compared to a typical Spanish class, it will be taught at a faster pace with more emphasis on literature. Various levels of this class will be taught.


“What’s most important is that students aren’t bored, which often is the case for students who have grown up speaking Spanish. We hope that this class will fix this problem” World Languages and Cultures teacher leader Hannah Lingrell said.


Math teacher Laurie Hailer hopes to teach AP Micro and Macro Economics next year. This course will be offered only to seniors and a semester of government must be taken in addition to this course to meet graduation requirements. It can be taken as either a year-long or semester-long course.


“This class is great for anyone who is willing to take on the challenge of an AP course. It’s also a good option for anyone who is interesting in pursuing a career in fields such as statistics or business,” Hailer said.


Last year, English classes Literary Walkabout and Oral Rhetoric; AP Calculus BC, an introductory college-level calculus course; and Individual Excellence, a PE elective  were introduced to the school’s curriculum.


According to principal Liz Seabury, the process to add new classes is lengthy and difficult.


“If a course is completely new to the district, then a course description must be written, approved by the Tamalpais board, UC and CSU, and, if it’s an AP, the College Board.

We come up with the classes, we run the course workshops, where we have to get at least 20 signups, and then we can run the class,” Seabury said.


Student Senate went through the descriptions of the different course descriptions in the district and took a survey to help decide what classes will be offered.


“Without Student Senate, we never would have thought to offer some of the classes, such as creative writing, that we hope to offer,” Seabury said.


New classes will not be added to the science department because there is going to be a shift in the curriculum. However, the school may begin to offer AP Psychology and AP Art History in the next couple of years.


According to Seabury, it can be hard at times to add new classes to the schedule.


“I know that there’s going to be a conflict. Because of the small learning communities, academies, and the school’s small size, we have an awfully difficult time putting together the master schedule. Also, since there are only around 1,000 kids, there are many classes where only one section is taught, which also makes it difficult.” Seabury said.


This was the case for junior Maya Krause last year.


“I wanted to take both AP Spanish and Honors Advanced Algebra, but I wasn’t able to that because of a scheduling conflict. Even though everything worked out in the end, it would have been better if I could have taken both classes,” Krause said.


However, despite the difficulty, Seabury is optimistic.
“It’s exciting to take new classes and I want as many students as possible to be able to take the classes that they want to take. I want everyone to be happy; it’s my job,” she said.