At the Mill, available electives are inclusive of all kinds of student interests. Therefore, it is expected of Starr’s Mill High School to continue incorporating new electives that will further expand the horizons and the potential of its students. But the creation of new electives is a process.
“I had to submit word to the county, telling them why we want to offer it,” assistant principal and registrar Kristin Hall said. This means there needed to have been some expressed interest in the class for it to go from a thought to reality. This year, three classes have done so.
History and Literature of the Bible was attempted previously, but lack of interest caused it to be unavailable for the 2018-2019 school year. English teacher Shad Genovese will teach the course should it make for the 2019-20 school year.
“Typically for electives, we want to have at least 25 to 28 kids,” Hall said.
To generate interest, Genovese has posted signs around the hallways and in English classrooms, along with posting a video announcement.
Another of the three new classes is a military history course. The 2019-2020 school year will be the first time this class will be available for students to select. “It is going to be one semester of modern U.S. military history, and then the second semester is going to be old U.S. military history,” history teacher Joseph Bara said.
The introduction of this class to electives illustrates the influence a large number of students collectively can have on their school. “Some kids were talking to Mr. Bara, and brought it up to him,” Hall said. “He went to the social studies department chair, who then came to me.”
Another new elective that seems to be popular with the rising underclassmen is marketing principles, to be taught by entrepreneurship teacher Zach Mann. This class is will be an addition to the already popular and active business courses offered to Starr’s Mill students.
”There are already certain elements that are offered here that tie into our entrepreneurship pathways,” Mann said. This class will focus on certain aspects of entrepreneurship and specialize specifically in marketing.
These new electives are certainly needed.“When there’s 1,300 kids in a school, they all have different personalities and interests,” Hall said. This means it is imperative to accommodate their needs by allowing them to have a wide variety of classes to choose from.
Sometimes, the administration tests out different classes in order to discover whether their students are interested or not. “Every year we’re looking for new things to offer,” Hall said.
This year, however, Hall did not have to look far. The new courses being offered will be classes created with students’ active participation and selection in mind.