Friday, December 15, 2017



Choosing classes can be one of the hardest parts about going to school, aside from taking those classes and doing well in them.  Whether it’s an elective or a core class, it always seems as if there are almost too many options to choose from.  Students at Washingtonville High School are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to build their own schedules that fit their interests while also helping with their futures.  Elective classes are a way for students to prepare themselves for future careers or problems they may encounter in life.  

Many people believe that it is important for a student to take as many electives as possible, especially in high school.  If students just take core classes, they drown in work, so slipping a few electives into their schedules can alleviate some of that stress.  This can be helpful because going through high school is already hard enough, and packing on difficult classes does not make it easier.

Taking harder classes does not always show a student’s full learning potential.  A student may be very bright, but could be a poor test taker, which could end up lowering his or her overall average.  According to an article written by Susan Rambo, who has been teaching at Walter Johnson Junior High for 29 years, “Elective classes reveal the skill sets of some students that might not be obvious in their other classes, helping them see their strengths and affording them opportunities to be of value to their classmates.  Reaching performance goals or learning a new language requires students to be organized, to set goals, and to evaluate if they’re meeting those goals.”  Teachers who teach electives say that students should be taking these classes to help them form life skills. 

Mrs. Exarchakis, a guidance counselor employed at Washingtonville High School, explained that there are many different electives a student can take.  To name a few, she listed, “Transportation Systems, which is a technology class, Marketing, which is a business class, Food and Nutrition for family and consumer science, JROTC, and Drawing and Painting is an art class.”  

At Washingtonville High School, there is no shortage of electives a student can take, but according to Mrs. Exarchakis, “There is definitely a limit on how many electives a student can take.  It all depends on their current schedule and what requirements they need to fulfill in order to graduate.”  Obviously, there are classes that students need to complete and pass in order to receive a diploma at the end of their senior year, but electives are also very important.  

Classes such as Transportation Systems and Drawing and Painting are very hands on classes, which cater more to the learning style of kinesthetic learners.  This is important because not every student can learn just through lecture for an hour and a half.  Hands on learning gives students a visual representation of what they are learning and what their final outcome should look like. 

A student’s schedule should be filled with the classes required for graduation, but also classes they enjoy.  There is no rule on how many electives or core classes a student should be taking, but it is suggested that students take classes that could potentially benefit them in the future.  With the option to create their own schedules, students are ultimately given the option to choose their paths for high school.  Many guidance counselors, such as Mrs. Exarchakis, say that students should take classes that pertain to their future goals. 

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