New Course Offerings for the 2022-2023 School Year

English and Mathematics Department Design New Electives

Alexandria Zimmerman, Staff Writer

Statistics for sophomores and fantasy-fiction-focused senior English are only two of the new additions to the Pinkerton course catalog, including more writing course choices for seniors.

The English Strategy Team has been collecting data from students and observing other schools about possible English options for seniors. 

“Originally, we were looking for electives to offer because, as you know, we have Yearbook, Introduction to Journalism, and Sports Literature,”  said Mrs. Jyoti Demian, the English department head.

Five years ago, a survey went out to English classes asking them which classes they thought would be most interesting to take during their senior year. 

The results of the survey garnered some 15 different course choices from Literature of the Ocean to Science Fiction. With this data and ideas, the strategy team began its work to create literature options for seniors.

Demian says her goal is to give students the material to succeed after high school. 

“But we also do it in ways that our students can access, whether it’s interesting or readable, or watchable,” said Demian.

In addition to the senior literature elective options, seniors also have a choice in what writing course they can take. Three new courses are now offered: Argumentation Through a Sports Lens, Argumentation Through a Media Lens, and Making Arguments to a Public Audience.

Similar to the English Department, the math department underwent a similar renovation of its sophomore match curriculum. Now, sophomore students have been given the choice to either take the standard full-year geometry course, or take one semester of geometry and one semester of statistics. 

We felt there was a need to get all kids, not just AP kids,” said Mr. Dave Rhoads, “some level of stats fluency and sophomore year seemed to be the best fit.” 

During the pandemic the math department discussed implementing a statistics course for sophomores. However, it wasn’t until a little over a year ago that they started putting the course together and getting it approved by the board of trustees. The main motivation for this was to prepare the students for life as our culture becomes further immersed into the world of technology and statistics. 

“The world is stats driven,” said Rhoads. “To be conversational about current events, one must have a basic knowledge of stats and SAT and PSAT scores increasing is also a very nice byproduct.”

However, it’s no secret that most people find statistics a difficult topic to understand and reviewing topics can help increase understanding. 

Sophomore Gabrielle Antinerella said, “One thing I’ve really enjoyed is going over the homework the next class.” 

With the new course options in English and math, the school demonstrates that it is listening to its students and doing what it can to prepare them for life after high school.

“I believe that they both have very strong applicability.  As both a geometry and stats teacher for many years, I see the need for knowledge in both areas,” said Rhoads. “I think that this change is giving proper recognition that probability and statistics can no longer be a “fill-in” topic of another course. It needs focused study.”