New Semester, New Classes

Zoie, Staff Writer

January 30th, 2020, marks the end of the first semester in this Quakertown Community High school year. With the semester ending, so do semester classes. Students are able to take half or full-year electives to get different credits, and now is the time where students and teachers are switching to the second-semester courses.

Many students have different opinions on elective courses. According to a poll conducted on Zoie Kartsounas’ Instagram, a sophomore at Quakertown High School,  52% out of 129 students in the Bucks County area say the electives they take will benefit their future, while 48% say they are not beneficial to them. But why is there such a split? Colleen Carroll, a sophomore at Quakertown High School, is in the 52%.

 “I think it’s very important that we take elective classes,” says Carroll. “The fact that I am able to choose classes that truly interest me, and prepare me for my future is such an important part of my education.”

 To learn more about the importance of elective classes, read “The Case for Electives in School.”  On the other hand, some students feel differently.

“I feel like there are not a lot of options available for classes that would help me in my future,” says Aiden Laco, a sophomore at Quakertown High School. “ If there were more diverse options, I could see elective classes helping me with my future.”

However, many students do not get the opportunity to take different elective classes, because of their involvement in the chorus and band. Chorus or band can take up the place of different electives. Amelia Cianciola, a sophomore at Quakertown High School, has a few words to say about this. 

“I don’t get to take different electives every year because of the choir,” says Cianciola, “I really enjoy chorus, and doing something with music is what I want to do in college, so all around the chorus is preparing me for my career.”

Joseph Rodriguez, a personal growth and physical education teacher, thinks the elective classes this year went fairly smooth.

“The first semester classes went really well this year,” says Rodriguez. “I’ve had freshmen for about half of the classes I teach this semester, so that’s always interesting to get the kids from the middle and transition them into the high school.”

At course selection, which is in mid-January, students pick the classes they take the following year. As for electives, students also have the option to take a dual enrollment course. This is where students are able to earn college credits and have real, hands-on work. 

There are numerous different types of classes available, which can be found in Quakertown High School’s Program of Study. More than there has been in prior years. For example, 20 years ago, Quakertown Community High School did not have dual enrollment courses. There is definitely a difference in classes, according to Rodriguez. 

“I think elective classes are different now, especially with the choices the students get to take in classes now,” says Rodriguez. “We had block scheduling in the past, where we got to see students for long amounts of time, and I think in general, the pressure of being in school has risen compared to back then.”

Before graduation, it is required that students take at least one art, and 2 years of physical education, and health. 

Evidently, students feel differently about elective classes. Nevertheless, it is now that time of year, where classes are switching, and students are given the opportunity for a fresh start.