A New Crop of Classes

Students, teachers, and administration discuss new course selection being offered next year

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Makayla Lui, General Reporter

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     With the growing interest in unique career pathways, the Frisco Independent School District (FISD) has brought about changes in high school classes by implementing new courses to ensure future readiness of their students. Due to the approved Tax Ratification Election, the district has taken these new terms to make courses possible for all students to ensure that students are ready for their future careers in college and employment.

     With the new courses, students will have seven more classes to consider in course selections for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. The new courses Frisco ISD will be offering are Orchestra Instrumental Ensemble, Gifted and Talented (GT) American Studies, and Algebraic Reasoning at all high schools. At the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) there will be Cybersecurity, Future Ready Healthcare as well as Video Game Programming.

     Orchestra Instrumental Ensemble will be a credit for 10th through 12th graders, with director approval, for orchestra and harp students seeking independent study for their instruments in continuation of the orchestra program. Students must enroll for All-Region Orchestra as well as participate in an official solo-music competition.

     “I am excited about being able to practice more so I can put more time and energy into what I am more devoted in,” freshman violin player Ellie Hikima said. “Orchestra Instrumental Ensemble is a great opportunity to master a new instrument and learn new skills while at the same time practicing your own preparatory.”

     GT American Studies is a course offered to 11th-grade students previously taking English II or identified as Gifted and Talented. The course will be both double-blocked and co-taught between an AP U.S. History teacher alongside an AP Language Arts teacher. This course’s main focus is to prepare students for the Advanced Placement exams both in U.S History and English Language and Composition.

     “The GT American Studies course is a great opportunity for the students who are in the GT program in their freshman and sophomore years to have a third year of that course on that pathway,” Reedy High School Counselor Erin Coulter advised. “I know some kids are excited for this opportunity for those who have been in GT and didn’t want to stop taking the class.”

     Algebraic Reasoning is a course offered to 10th to 12th grade students to build off the knowledge and reasoning from Algebra 1, which is prerequisite for the course. It is noted in the FISD course catalog that students will study the “explorations of patterns and structure, number and algebraic methods, and modeling from data using tools that build to workforce and college readiness such as probes, measurement tools, and software tools, including spreadsheets.”

     Cybersecurity is a course offered at the CTE Center and is focused on mastering the fundamentals of cybersecurity and exploring challenges in ethics in system security. This course is offered to students who previously have taken Computer Science along with Computer Maintenance, although it is not required but recommended.

     “With the new job market that is brand new and has just opened, there leaves so many jobs that haven’t been filled right now. It is a great opportunity for kids to get for free an experience learning about what that world of cybersecurity is like taking a class that is hands-on at the CTE Center so that they can decide whether or not they want to pursue that as a major as a career in college after high school,” Reedy High School Counselor Erin Coulter added.

     Future Ready Healthcare is offered at both the CTE Center and Baylor Scott & White Frisco Hospital to expose students to the vast array of technology associated with the medical field. The FISD Course catalog acknowledges that “Students will be exposed to emerging technologies such as 3D printing for surgeries, robotic process automation, virtual reality, biomedical testing/repair, prosthetics and artificial intelligence to improve the patient experience.” A qualification form is required as well as the requirement of Health Science or Corequisite of Anatomy and Physiology.

     “They are going to look at different careers in the medical field …  it is a great way to gain exposure to something beyond doing the specific CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) program to get more experience in the medical field that is free in high school so that you learn about it before you make the choice where you are majoring in it in college,” Reedy High School Counselor Erin Coulter said.

     Video Game Programming, or what was previously named Video Game Design, is a course offered to students previously taking a Computer Science course. This course was requested by many students wanting to pursue a career in the game and video design industry. The course also follows with Advanced Video Game Programming for students to take during their senior year.

     “I am super excited about it and it is something we have been planning for. It is finally coming into fruition and we are ready to make it happen,” said Ryan Patton, Reedy High School’s Computer Science teacher.

     With the addition of many highly requested classes, this allows for students to be exposed to different career experiences geared  towards a student’s personal pathway as the district continually seeks to make sure students are able to adapt to the changing skill sets required for employers over time. These courses are ones to consider for students filling out their course selections for the upcoming school year.

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