New classes widen academic horizons for students

susanapettis

Many Marian girls know the struggle of a completely packed schedule. Whether that means two electives or doubling up on core classes, many girls find it hard to get in all of the classes they want over the course of four years.  As course catalogs and sign up sheets were passed out last spring, teachers and students alike were surprised to see summer gym classes and online courses were added to the options.

This year, returning students had the option to take gym over the summer. This allowed students to fulfill their credit requirement and take other classes during the school year. For many, this gave them the opportunity to finally have a study hall or take a class that they had been wanting to take but couldn’t quite fit in. “I decided to take summer gym because I thought it was a good opportunity to get up during the summer and have a schedule of some type of activity every day,” sophomore Ava Bettger said.

summergym

Lacrosse Ladies Marian girls taking summer gym got to play lacrosse along with soccer, flag football, and a variety of other sports. They played on the soccer fields by sophomore lot.

Initially, both Lifetime Sports and Fit For Life were offered, but due to the number of girls enrolled, the only option became Lifetime Sports. Girls involved in the class came to Marian every day from 8:40 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. from June 1 to June 30. “I am not a morning person but it wasn’t too hard because you were already used to getting up even earlier for school than you are for the gym class.  But I will say it kinda takes it out of you. It’s a very long class and you definitely get tired after. I would recommend it if you are looking for some type of physical activity to do during the summer or if you want to have a study hall or want to take another class,” Bettger said. The amount of hours accumulated during this summer course is equal to the amount of time a gym class would take during the school year. Tuition for the course was $250.

Marian also introduced online courses through the Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy.  Students are able to study subjects like Digital Photography and AP Art History in the fall and Astronomy in the spring. There is however, an extra $125 for a semester course and $175 for a year long course.

Senior Jenna Popp is taking Photography this fall through the online academy. “You get in contact with your teacher via email. She or he will send you an email about your course lesson for that week. Each week for digital photography we have to submit pictures we took based on your lesson for that week.”

One of the girls taking AP Art History is senior Rachel Rawson. “I’m taking it because I think I want to go into interior design someday,” Rawson said. This course is the only online course that includes an AP exam, also making it the only year long online class.

The only downside: the student must be taking a study hall. The study hall requirement is to give the student an allotted time to get classwork done like any other class. It also gives helps them stay ahead in the course and hopefully will prevent them from getting overwhelmed. “You could definitely take this class without a study hall, but it’s nice to get all the work done in class,” Popp said.

These online courses can also give students an example of what an online college course might be like. For students like Popp, it gives them the opportunity to take a course that isn’t offered at Marian. “I love photography, and it’s a hobby of mine. I’m taking it because I want to expand my knowledge on photography.”

By offering these new courses, Marian gives students flexibility when it comes to their schedules. It also allows students to experience online courses, which are becoming more and more prevalent these days.

“We will probably offer a summer PE course.  We are just beginning to discuss summer classes for 2017,” Assistant Principal Mrs. Kathy Tompkins said.

Enrollment for these courses are low, but in the next few years it could increase and allow Marian to offer a myriad of choices. These new course offerings could open doors for many new options in the future.

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