Room For Electives Absent From Class Schedules

Jensen Wainwright, Focus Editor

With recent additions to required classes, students are facing difficulties when it comes to picking classes, and choosing ones they would like to take. Last year, personal finance was added to the already long list of required classes deemed “vital” by the school board. With all these new requirements are students losing their ability to choose?

Every new class of freshman brings back the rumor of the dreaded required four years of gym, but are these rumors only rumors? For now, the kids of West Potomac are free from four years of dressing out, but who knows what the future may hold? Since the addition of personal finance to the graduation requirements, anything could be possible, especially more classes that feel like a waste of the students’ time.

High schools are losing participation in arts and music programs, some of which can make or break a high school career for some. According to a study by the University of Michigan, students in music programs have a higher average GPA, and are more likely to continue on to college. Unfortunately, with requirements piling up, continuing through four years of a music program is nearly impossible. To get the proper amount of credit to graduate one needs 24 credits in total, three for math and science, four for history and English, two for gym, three for world languages, and one for fine arts. These credit requirements leave you little room as to what you take, or what you may want to experiment with through high school.

For someone that wants to become an artist, those fine arts credits will roll in easier than anything, but to someone who wants to be a mathematician, taking a year of studio art is a waste of time. This is where the school system has failed dramatically, requiring so many classes and a certain number of credits students must have to graduate is only producing more “easy A classes.” These classes are weighed down with busy work curriculums and students who just care enough need to pass. So instead of learning something, you are walking away with just a bunch for papers for your recycling bin.

Tying every student to the same core schedule is like asking a fish to climb a tree: it is impossible. Trying to engage your students with monotonous classes designed solely to earn a mark on a paper is a waste of time and resources. A school system in which you are required to take fewer classes on what you do not care about, and more on what sparks your mind would produce more productive students, and would lead to fewer failures and dropouts.