Over the course of winter break, students of ORRHS (with the exception of seniors) are encouraged to look through the Program of Studies in preparation for choosing next year’s classes. There are a few additions and adjustments to the program, beginning with a few new classes.
The pre-existing “History of Old Rochester” class has changed from a full year to a half year elective and will be known as “Local History: Our Communities, Our Country and Our Commonwealth.” It is a project-based class where you learn about the history of Southeastern Massachusetts from firsthand accounts. Honors or A Level credit will be given based on the content of projects. The course will be available to juniors and seniors.
The Social Studies Department also has another new addition: “Modern American Politics and Government.” It is a half-year A Level elective for juniors and seniors that will focus on American civics. Students will learn the ins and outs of our government system as well as the current challenges and major events that face modern politics today.
The Mathematics Department also garnered two new half-year electives. Introduction to Statistics, an A Level course for juniors and seniors, will use data samples, experiments and simulations to teach students how to observe and analyze data. There is a prerequisite for the elective, which is completion of Algebra 2.
Finite Mathematics is also an A Level elective offered to juniors and seniors. There is a prerequisite for completing Algebra 2. In Finite Mathematics, students will explore advanced topics in math with some focus on business applications and real world problems.
There have also been changes to the levels in certain courses. Band and Chorus will have an A Level or an Honors Level option depending on participation in events and in class. Art Major 2 and Portfolio Art will be bumped up to Honors Level courses.
There will be a trial period of Algebra 2A being split into two parts, A1 and A2, for junior and senior year.
For the Class of 2016 (freshmen), there will be new graduation requirements. For all students in the Class of 2016 and later, there is an Arts requirement. Students must take at least one of the following courses: Art 1 (full year), Ceramics, (half-year), Drawing and Painting (half-year), Photography (half-year), Graphic Design (half-year), Public and Environmental Art (half-year), Band (full-year), Chorus (full-year), Beginning Guitar (half-year), Intermediate Guitar (half-year), Popular American Music (half-year), Music Technology (half-year), Music Technology 2 (half-year), Music Composition and Theory (half-year), Theater (half-year), Multimedia Design (half-year), Architectural Design (half-year), and Philosophy (half-year).
Students graduating in 2016 or later will also have to complete four full years of mathematics courses instead of the current requirement of only three.
For any questions concerning individual classes, changes in requirements, or which classes would be the best fit, read through the Program of Studies located on the ORRHS website. For more personal help, make an appointment with your guidance counselor.
By Jessica Correia