Forecasting: Take a Look at New Classes for Next Year


Clarion photo Elizabeth Long

New courses will be available in a wide variety of subjects next year.

By Alex Cheriel, Reporter

As first semester wraps up, it’s already time to start planning our schedule for next year. Forecasting will happen for freshmen in Academy classes Jan. 29 and 30, for sophomores in Government/Economics class Feb. 4-8, and for juniors in English class Feb. 11-15. This article highlights several new course offerings available this year. For a comprehensive list of classes available, make sure to browse the Course Guide, available in the school website under Counseling > Forecasting.

Many new changes are coming to the Cleveland science department. According to Jennifer Wiandt, IB Coordinator, juniors in all PPS high schools will be required to take Biology starting in the 2019-20 school year. “We want everyone to feel like they’re part of an IB World School, so we label junior and senior graduation requirement classes as IB,” she said.

Similar to English, students can choose between two course levels: IB Biology SL 1-2 or IB Biology HL 1-2. Now, to graduate, students will be required to pass four IB classes: two years of English, one year of history, and one year of biology. Support classes will continue to be offered for students needing help in these challenging courses.

Science teacher Eric Fraser is planning a new course: IB Sports, Exercise, and Health Science, a class he previously taught at Lincoln. This is a good course for students interested in athletic/physical training, nutrition, physical therapy, and kinesiology, among other careers. “It’s a high interest area for students, and applicable to the day-to-day lives of athletes,” Wiandt said. The class will cover anatomy, exercise physiology, diet, movement analysis, and training methods. Data collection is a focus of the course. “There will be days when you’ll need to wear clothing that you can move in,” Fraser said. This course is available to juniors and seniors and is an option for full IB students as an SL Science credit.

IB Marine Science is another IB science elective to be offered next fall. It will be taught by Keska Kemper, who is currently taking a year’s sabbatical in Spain. According to Wiandt, this will be a similar course to the oceanography elective class offered in years past. Topics covered include marine ecosystems, waves, sedimentology, chemical and nutrient cycles, and human impact on oceans. This course is available to juniors and seniors and is an option for full IB students as an SL science credit.

A new physical education course, called Lifetime Activities and Fitness, will be available next year. This class introduces students to a variety of activities that are enjoyed by people of all ages, including bowling, tennis, golf, badminton, ping-pong, archery, and pickleball. “We made this class available as a possibility to offer a change from the regular PE class and teach our community about sports and recreation where a group of people are not needed,” said Odie Hollingshed, PE and health teacher. This semester class is available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors and can make up the second half of the one physical education credit required for graduation.

Career and technical education (CTE) elective Digital Media 1-2, a year-long class, is going to be broken up into a variety of semester courses. These classes are called Photo: Foundations, Video: Foundations, Graphic Design, Advertising, Journalism, and Media & Society. “This allows students to sample classes and find their interests,” said CTE teacher Andrew Sorensen. These introductory classes are available to all students and serve as the prerequisite for Intermediate Digital Media, Newspaper Lab, and Yearbook.

Social studies teacher Tim Graham hopes to bring back a current events discussion class. Formerly known as Epic Issues, it is now called Justice and Democracy and will be available as a semester course. “It comes from having a lack of classes that can readily respond to current events and issues that are on student’s minds,” Graham said. The class is student-driven and focuses on critical thinking and discussion. Topics studied in the past include crime and punishment, terrorism, government, immigration, cultural appropriation, and local issues. This class is available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and counts as an elective credit.

Another new course available next year is IB World Religion, taught by Steve Nims. “Mr. Nims has advised a number of students on IB Extended Essays related to World Religion, so it’s an area of expertise that he has,” Wiandt said. Nims also includes a World Religion unit as part of his Modern World History classes. The class involves in-depth reading and research into various religions. “Religion impacts how people live, it’s a huge, important cultural and historical force,” Nims said. This class is available to juniors and seniors and is an option for full IB students as an SL social science credit. Nims emphasizes that non-religious people are welcome to enroll.

Other new courses available next year include Applied Computer Science Pathway, Innovation and Design (woodshop), Screen Printing, and Masculinity and Mythology. It’s an excellent idea to read through the entire course guide prior to forecasting. You never know what might spark an interest.