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Choosing High School Courses Not Easy Task

When I was in high school, choosing elective courses was easy.

I took the traditional Typing I and II, Shorthand, Accounting, General Business, Home Ec Department’s Child Development and Family Relations, Spanish, and Newspaper classes.

Other offerings included Yearbook, Architectural Drawing, Shop and Ag classes, plus advanced English, Math and Science courses

That was 40 years ago, and times have changed.

At Noblesville High School, students have more than 300 courses to choose for the upcoming 2022-23 school year. We learned about many of these classes during a recent NHS Course Fair at the school, open to students and their parents. The cafeteria was full of tables set up with not only information to share, but also teachers and students came out to answer students’ and parents’ questions.

The difficulty, we have found, for my sophomore daughter, comes in narrowing the choices to interests.

Among the course offerings are at least nine courses that are new:

  • Zoology course includes studying and classifying types of animals to better understand evolutionary concepts, with numerous dissections.
  • Two courses, Novels and Debate, are among new courses offered in the English and Theatre department. Novels is a course based on the Indiana Academic Standards and students examine novels of a given period, and what distinguishes them from other book genres. The Debate course is simply that, a class that studies and applies the basic principles of debate and debate strategies.
  • Organic Chemistry is new to the Science department and is based on regular laboratory investigations of matter, chemical reactions and the role of energy in those reactions.
  • Library Media is new to the Multidisciplinary courses that also include Cadet Teacher, Peer Tutoring and Innovations. Library Media offers instruction and practice in library science, learning about all areas, such as circulation, delivery and care of equipment, book selection, and patron assistance.
  • African Studies, a one-semester class, is new to the Social Studies department and helps students understand and appreciate the diverse people, cultures and economic systems of the African continent.
  • Principles of Early Childhood Education is an introduction project-based course that explores growth and development of young children and developmentally appropriate practices.
  • Principles of Culinary Arts & Hospitality is an advanced lab experience that focuses on serving food to others while learning the ServSafe curriculum.
  • Management Fundamentals offers instruction on how to manage a business, how to motivate and evaluate employees, evaluate the financial and procedural strength of a business and understand the laws relating to businesses.

Those are just samplings of the new courses available in 2022-23.

There are so many courses to consider.

NHS offers an opportunity to be in an Intro to Engineering class that is guaranteed to have at least 50percent female students, according to promotional material given out at the recent course fair.

Want to learn how to play the piano? Take a Piano/Electronic Keyboarding course for beginning, intermediate and advanced.

There is an AP Music Theory class for students interested in music theory or in majoring or minoring in music, not for students just looking for an interesting AP class. Because the subject matter is difficult, according to teacher Jay Jasper.

For theater students, there are advanced classes in theater arts and acting, plus theater production and technical theater classes. And for singers, there are show and concert choirs.

The band department even puts out samples of actual four-year schedules, including a starting quarterback varsity football player, senior Connor Meinerding, who played in concert band and jazz band while completing several honors and AP classes.

There are lots of classes that I think look like fun, including Introduction to Fashion 1 and 2, Guitar, SongWriting & Recording Arts, Aerospace Engineering, Ceramics, Personal Financial Responsibility, and Etymology (the study of the origin of words, not to be confused with Entomology, the study of insects and a 4-H project)

Seniors have so many choices, besides regular courses, from internships  to apprenticeships (in carpentry, electrical and plumbing and more) to cadet teaching, opportunities to take classes through J. Everett Light Career Center and more.

The high school does work to best accommodate student requests for courses, district spokesperson Marnie Cooke said. “So, if lots of kids want to sign up for a class,” she said the school would work to offer more offerings of a class.

One of the classes that has grown is a Film Literature class that studies movie themes, film angles, movie editing and horror films and more. The class, which has grown greatly since first offered, requires students to think deeper about movies.

But the classroom teacher warns that there is a lot of classroom work. He said, “Don’t take the class if you think you’re just going to watch movies.” – Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.