Registration celebration: New courses offer opportunity, variety

by Maddie Robertson

Although summer may seem ages away, and the 2018-2019 school year even further,  Marian girls will soon begin registering for classes for the upcoming school year. However, students will need to take a second look at the curriculum handbook as they decide their course load. Marian faculty members have been working to redesign certain classes and curriculum, providing a plethora of courses not previously offered for the next school year.

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Sprucing up social studies Mrs. Katy Salzman teaches her Block H freshman Honors World History class, the last of its kind. Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, freshmen will be taking Pre-Advanced Placement History and World Geography.

“Each department head did a lot of soul-searching and research into other area high schools in Omaha as well as schools similar to Marian- all-girls schools, college prep- to get the best education possible,” Dean of Student Services Mrs. Jennifer Christen said.

Though some departments are only modifying one or two classes, the Social Studies Department is completely revamping its curriculum for the incoming class of 2022. A two-semester Honors World History class will no longer be offered for freshman as it traditionally was. Instead, every freshman will take Pre-Advanced Placement History and World Geography. Instilled in this course will be Pre-Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum that will set the entire grade on the road to taking more AP classes throughout their Marian career.

“It enhances the AP track. I think it’s going to be good for the incoming class of freshmen. It’s really going to offer opportunities across the board,” social studies teacher and department chair Mrs. Katy Salzman said.

The Business Department is also adjusting its available courses. While it will not be altering its entire curriculum for incoming classes, the department does plan to combine certain classes and shorten the length of others to make the classes more accessible to every grade. Personal Finance will be fused with Economics for the 2019-2020 school year. Accounting, originally taught for two semesters, will be split into single semester courses of Accounting I and Accounting II, so as to provide more leeway when arranging schedules. “We’ve had less than the minimum requirement sign up for the last two years, so we wanted to offer something that would work with more girls’ schedules,” business electives teacher Mr. Craig Panning said.

In addition to offering more convenient classes, a new course known as Technology Applications will combine Graphic Design and Computer Applications. “We’re trying to offer some more advanced technology courses,” Panning said. “I’m excited about that course because a lot of students have a decent amount of experience with Excel, but it’ll be a bigger focus on some more advanced programs like Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator.”

Although the coming school years promise an extensive variety of new courses, certain schedule options will no longer be offered to students. Starting with the Class of 2020, seniors will no longer have the option of taking two study halls per semester. “As we have moved to this block schedule, you have half the day free. Students perform better when they have a little bit more structure,” Christen said.

In addition, Christen hopes that the diversity of classes appealing to nearly every interest will make it so that students have no desire to take a second study hall.

“The administration and faculty are looking at every department and every class over the next few years to modify curriculum so our students are college-ready,” Principal Mrs. Susie Sullivan said. “Next year, we will look at P.E., English and Journalism to decide what or if we need any updates.  This process will continue until every department has been thoroughly audited.  I am very excited about the course offerings that are coming in the future and I believe it will firmly establish Marian academics well ahead of other schools.

The registration process will be spread throughout February for every grade, with freshmen registering for their sophomore year and finishing with the junior class’ registration around Feb. 20. Registration for incoming freshmen will be held on the evening of Feb. 26.

In the meantime, Marian is continuing to fine-tune curriculum to ensure every Marian student will leave prepared for whatever their academic future has in store.

For a full list of curriculum changes, especially for those interested in new Fine Arts, Elective and World Language courses for the 2018-2019 school year, visit the Curriculum Handbook in the registration materials or online under the Resources List at the Student or Parent page (

Additional Class Changes:

The Fine Arts department will now be offering an Introduction to Theater class, Pottery II, Advanced Placement Music Theory (one year, offered to juniors and seniors), Show Choir (all members will be assigned a study hall together and will practice twice a week) and Handbells II.

A new elective being offered is Cyber Security.

The World Language department will be adding Mandarin II.

Courses no longer being offered include Geography, Computer Applications, Entrepreneurship, Acting and Last Chance Music.

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