New school year brings new opportunities

New revisions to enrollment for the 2014-2015 year gives students additional options.

Although it seems so far away, registration for next year is just around the corner. With it comes the introduction of new courses to FHC as well as the addition of a new policy that affects a small population of the students.

Most often, ideas for new classes originate from content leaders. Then, these ideas are brought to the Board of Education for approval.

The enrollment guide for 2014-15 brings six new classes to FHC: Desktop Publishing II, Personal Finance Online, Fitness for Life, Cardio Health, Principles of Biomedical Sciences, and Biology III Honors.

Desktop Publishing II offers another class to take upon completion of Desktop Publishing I. By completing the class, students also have the opportunity to gain accreditation as an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE), which is an Industry Recognized Certification beneficial to students who wish to enter the field of technology after graduation.

The addition of Personal Finance Online brings “a blended learning environment, which means some coursework will be completed online and some of the coursework will be done in class with a teacher” according to the Enrollment Guide. It will only be offered at the beginning and end of the day and thus have limited enrollment.

The two new physical education classes, Fitness for Life and Cardio Health, give students more options in completing their physical education credit for graduation. Fitness for Life is a class with low- impact resistance exercises while Cardio Health will cover exercises and lessons designed to allow students to make sound decisions regarding their heart.

Two classes are being added to the science department next year; one of which has been at FHC in the past, but now is an honors class. Biology III genetics will now be an honors class. Principles of Biomedical Sciences, a completely new program, is a program similar to the Principles of Engineering program which started four years ago. There will be a succession of four classes, which students can complete beginning their freshman year and take through their senior year. The program is designed to “prepare students to pursue a postsecondary education and careers in the biomedical sciences” according to the Enrollment guide for 2014-2015. The first year class which will be offered next year is titled “Principles of the Biomedical Sciences” and the next three classes which will be offered in the next four years will be “Human Body Systems”, “Medical Interventions” and “Biomedical Innovations”. Honors credit is available to students who earn a 6 or higher (with a maximum score of 9) on the PLTW (Project Lead the Way) final exam.

One slight change in district policy has the potential to affect some current students at FHC, but will have a greater effect on future Spartans. Revisions to BOE Policy 525 state that “students who successfully complete a high school course while in middle school will have the course recorded on their high school transcript for GPA and credit notation”. This part of the policy does not affect current Spartans, only the future middle schoolers who choose to venture to FHC every day.

There is one option that does affect current Spartans, however. The policy states that “students who enrolled/ completed these course in middle school prior to the policy change (November 2013) will have the choice of “opting-in” for the GPA and credit notation.”

“They have the option to do it or not do it and have a choice,” counselor administrative assistant Ms. Debbie Becker. “Beginning next year, middle schoolers taking high school courses will automatically have it counted to their transcript or GPA.”

 Affected students should receive a letter soon letting them know the news of the changed policy.

“Admin is processing letters now to let everyone know that it is a new policy that just came down next year,” Ms. Becker said.