Yes- Josh Friedman, Opinion Editor
As students ascend through high school, they must keep an eye on their credit requirements. These requirements may be intended to help the student, but they can be a hindrance. Students should be able to apply out of select credit requirements.
Any given student must get a semester of gym, a semester of health and a full year of art in order to graduate on time. This strict expectation may interfere with a student’s class plans. Instead of getting to take a course the student finds genuinely interesting, they have no choice but to abandon those plans to take a class they may not see any benefit from.
Students who wish to take internships must first find room in their schedules. With the credit requirements, a student might have to chose a second semester ceramics credit over the opportunity to be engaged in something they are truly passionate about.
Senior Jared Fishman is taking several high level classes and acknowledged the burden the credit requirement has become for him. “I wish I could have applied out of my art credit this year,” Fishman said.
A student should not feel as though the class they are taking is a burden. The student should elect to take certain classes because of a genuine interest, not because it is a graduation requirement.
For seniors, the prior three years of classes were to meet every core subject requirement. There is value in these requirements as a significant tool in progressing a student’s knowledge to prepare them for collegiate level work. A student who wishes to take an AP class should not have to consider dropping the class to receive a semester of gym.
These elective courses are impactful. However, there is no need for a student who has worked hard every year, to be playing a game of catch up to get every last elective credit just to graduate.
The student should not be able to apply out just to have a free period. The open slot should be filled with a class that the student truly wants the opportunity to take.
Students should be required to get certain elective credits. They should not be able to apply out of the credit just because they do not want to take it.
There should be a legitimate reason for students to drop a credit. In cases where a student only had one semester of art, for example, they should be able to drop the credit in pursuit of another class.
No- Rachel Clair, Managing Editor
To graduate, which we all desperately want, we are required to fulfill a certain number of credits in courses in areas such as English, math, foreign language and science. The most puzzling, and rather tedious requirements are classes like technology, art and gym. Although these courses seem like filler classes there certainly are positives to taking these classes, and I don’t think they should be scratched from the curriculum.
For one, these classes allow students to have a more well-rounded schedule, and whether they choose to continue with these elective classes throughout high school is up to them. Required credits also allow for underclassmen to have greater structure and help in planning their schedules, especially as they may be overwhelmed by, and have less direction in choosing classes, to have more structure.
For instance, a student may have never been exposed to photography, but after taking the course, may realize their interest in it, and can continue it on throughout high school, or as an extracurricular hobby.
This same theory can be applied to tech credits, as well. Prior to high school, students have not taken classes that revolve around technology or programming and having one of these classes required could uncover a person’s interest, which they could pursue.
As for gym, it allows for a break in the day, something necessary for some students as people are stressed by the high-pressure environment here with AP’s, extracurriculars and large amounts of work.
Taking a dance or basketball class can allow a 45-minute reset period doing something a student enjoys, allowing for a more balanced schedule, which is also beneficial to a student’s mental health. Additionally a gym class is a good introduction to a healthy lifestyle as sometimes it may be the only exercise a student is getting a day, and can also stress the importance of exercise to a healthy, balanced life.
Although requirements can be speed-bumps, or “filler” classes for some, some students may enjoy taking part in these more elective style classes as they may allow a student to uncover an interest in something, allow for a student to do something they love at school or allow for a break in a hectic school day. It may also point an underclassmen in a general direction. Whatever it may be these classes should not be dismissed from requirements as they serve an important purpose.