The New Elective Extravaganza

coursesby Derek Topper

‘Tis the season that love is in the air; yet, it is also that time of year when many students go to their guidance counselors to schedule their classes for next year. Students may be dismayed to learn about a policy that was recently introduced to the school but may also feel intrigued by some of their new course options.

This new policy, recently introduced at Long Beach High School, mandates that all students must take seven classes and a gym period every other day. The policy also eliminates “free periods” known as study-hall periods, except for lunch periods and classes that may alternate with gym. This new rule has made it much more likely that the average student’s schedule will contain an elective class or two. In addition to the courses that ran last year, many new courses have also been added to the course list for next year, adding increased opportunities for students. These new classes include options across a variety of fields and are bound to be interesting to many.

So without further adieu, the new classes are:

Journalism is a new course from the English Department in which students will learn about how newspapers are run and how articles are formed. The students will also learn about what goes into making a newspaper, the role of photography, interviewing, reporting and web design/layout. In addition, these students will write their own articles, in a variety of topics, which will be put in the Long Beach High School’s newspaper The Tide.

The Sea Around Us is a half-year offering from the Science Department, which will focus on the biology of planet Earth’s seas and oceans. In this hands-on marine biology course, students will examine the impact of overpopulation and pollution on marine flora and fauna as well as how marine species carry out their lives.

Extreme Earth is another half-year course offering from the Science Department, which focuses on the physical science aspects of Earth’s atmosphere and the Earth’s crust/core. Students will also learn about normal weather patterns and extreme types of weather that can occur like tornadoes, floods, thunderstorms, blizzards and hurricanes. In addition to atmospheric extremes, the course will also discuss geological extremes like earthquakes and volcanoes. Finally, students will learn about predicting weather conditions and how to be prepared in case of dangerous weather conditions.

Child Development: Introduction To Education: is a yearlong course from the Family and Consumer Science Department that is designed to give students an introduction to education. Students will learn about lesson planning, running classrooms, and working with students with special needs. The class will also explore the different parts of a child’s learning, such as their physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth, and the way that different students learn.

Television Studio Production 1 & 2 will give students a chance to hone their television studio production skills over two years rather than its previous status. The courses will give students a chance to be involved in the creation of content as well as controlling the studio’s cameras, sound board and editing software. They will also have the opportunity to make short films like comic sketches and feature news/sports segments for Long Beach High School’s Morning Show. During the second year of the class, students will put on the informative Morning News Show every day.

In the half-year class, Powering the Planet, students will learn about how human beings are able to provide energy sources to planet Earth. The course will discuss both the pros and cons of each renewable and non-renewable energy source used across the planet. Students will gain a basic understanding of the techniques to energy conversion, the usage of energy throughout history and its associated costs. Students will also be able to make decisions based on their knowledge of energy.

Peer Leadership will also be a new course to Long Beach High School for students in the twelfth grade. In the course, students will plan and carry out community outreach as well as help the community through holding events like mentoring freshmen, programs to promote the prevention of underage drinking and fundraise for charity. While holding these events, students will develop leadership and communication skills through team-building as well as working both independently and collaboratively on these events with other students and faculty members. These students will act as role models for the school and community and thus must pass an application process in order to be accepted into the program.

Audio Engineering 1 & 2 are two half-year classes that will give students the opportunity to create recordings using computers. Students will learn how to use music editing software like ProTools and Logic. They will also learn basic mixing and editing and learn to use studio electronics. They will also learn to analyze sound waves, to design microphones, operate audio consoles, use musical tracking techniques, learn studio set up and its break down as well as participate in recording sessions. All projects will meet New York State Standards for Education in Music, meaning that the course will fulfill a student’s music or art requirement for Long Beach High School.

In SUPA Public Affairs, which will be dually seated with AP American Government, students will have an opportunity to garner college credit while fulfilling requirement for Participation in Government. In this course, students will experience an introduction into the study of Public Policy in American Government. Students will learn to analyze current political issues and instituting public policy.

Long Beach High School is also beginning a career/internship program which consists of two smaller programs. The first, called the General Education Work Experience Program (GEWEP) will give students the opportunity to begin exploring options for their futures. They will examine a variety of courses to determine what careers suit them best and begin working on their future career paths.
Also, students enrolled in this program can gain ½ credit for every 150 hours they work at an approved part-time job, for which they may have the opportunity for early dismissal in order to pursue employment. Students must provide their own transportation but must be “on the books” and can receive monetary compensation for their work. In the second program called, Career Exploration Internship Program (CEIP), students will be able to gain non-paid, on-site, career experience. This will allow them to explore different careers.  Students may earn ¼ to 1 unit of elective or CTE credit for their work. These students will be required to meet regularly with the Work Experience Coordinator to discuss their job experiences as well as provide updated totals of the hours they worked.

With all that being said, every student at Long Beach High School should be excited about their opportunities for next year.

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