A program of elective courses offered at any high school should be considered just as important as the program of required courses that must be completed before a student is deemed eligible for graduation from that institution. Elective courses provide many benefits for students that help to support their development as well-rounded individuals and citizens. These types of classes cultivate the habits of life-long learning and intellectual curiosity. Fun and interesting elective classes can assist students in developing social, practical and intellectual skills. They can also nurture a student’s creativity and self-esteem while at the same time, providing the student with a rich learning experience that balances an otherwise rigorous “core” academic schedule. In addition to these valuable benefits, elective courses can aid a student in discovering previously unknown talents, skills and passions. In fact, several studies have found that students are more likely to acquire a degree or major in a discipline that they once took as an elective. From a practical point of view, a student that is empowered to choose his or her own electives is far more likely to remain motivated and interested in the class.
Not surprisingly, educators here at Ramapo High School view the responsibility to develop a curriculum outlined in the Program of Studies very seriously, including not only formulating a challenging required curriculum, but also crafting a rich and imaginative elective curriculum as well. Each year the faculty members endeavor to introduce new elective choices into our school’s educational program. The coming academic year is no exception. When students begin to fill out their course schedules
in the coming weeks several new Owners and Pilots Association High School STEM curriculum. Courses will be provided over a four-year time frame and include, among others, Aviation and Aerospace, Physics of Flight, and The Flying Environment. Incoming freshman will have seating preference, however, any and exciting electives will be available for their enjoyment.
The Family Consumer Sciences Department has revamped and refocused their curriculum. The courses offered by the department have been renamed to reflect this progressive vision. The department’s courses are now known as Intro to Culinary Arts, Baking and Cooking throughout the World, Advanced Culinary Arts and Cooking for Everyday Life. The Business Department has also developed a pair of new courses entitled i-Apps 1 and i-Apps 2. Both courses will include a coding component. Additionally, the Business Department is offering
a course entitled, Social Media Marketing. This class is a 5-credit honors class offered to juniors and seniors who are registered in the dual enrollment program with Centenary University. In an effort to keep pace with ever advancing technology, the Applied Technology Department has added Robotics 1 and Robotics 2 to their list of courses. Exciting things are happening in the Science Department as well, as it is offering an exciting cutting edge program entitled Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association High School STEM curriculum. Courses will be provided over a four-year time frame and include, among others, Aviation and Aerospace, Physics of Flight, and The Flying Environment. Incoming freshman will have seating preference, however, any remaining seats will be filled by upperclassmen. Any interested upperclassmen should indicate their desire to be enrolled in the program to their School Counselor during the scheduling process. Finally, seniors will be offered the unique opportunity to enroll in an Option II program, which includes the options of taking an online class, attending a college class on campus, participating in a Wellness Class or performing a Community Service Action for credit. Applications are available online and in the Guidance Office.
Providing an eclectic list of courses for students to choose from is itself a massive undertaking, however scheduling hundreds of students in these fabulous courses is a behemoth task. When asked how the process of scheduling both required courses and elective courses is facilitated, Mrs. Perry, Guidance Supervisor responded, “Scheduling is a multi-tiered process beginning with students meeting with their School Counselor to identify courses of interest. During the initial scheduling conference, School Counselors will discuss the elective options, graduation requirements and teacher recommendations. We are fortunate to have a wide range of electives available and dedicated teachers looking to engage students while connecting the curriculum to the changing world around us. Students are encouraged to explore the options and ask questions to find classes they will enjoy!” Students, together with their School Counselor and parents, create a schedule that ideally balances both required and elective courses in an effort to stay on track for their appropriate graduation year while at the same time allowing students to both explore new interests and follow their wanderlust.
In the coming weeks when deciding on your classes and constructing your schedule, take a long, hard look at the Program of Studies and the course offerings, taking special note of the new electives offered. Pick an elective that you think you will enjoy and, perhaps, want to continue pursuing long after you leave high school. Why not pursue an interest you have been curious about when you have the opportunity? Diversify your learning here at Ramapo. Truly, there is an elective for everyone! Happy Scheduling!