School board approves English department’s proposed new courses for next year


The school board has approved the English department’s proposed new courses for the 2021-2022 school year, as per English department chairperson Kimberly Walker. Some of the new courses include Ethnic Literature and Themes in Literature: Heroes and Villains.

Archit Kalra

The English department’s proposed new courses for the 2021-2022 school year were approved on Monday by the school board, as per English department chairperson Kimberly Walker.

According to Walker, the new courses will be Ethnic Literature, Linguistics, Themes in Literature: Heroes and Villains, Themes in Literature: Humor, Genres of Literature: Psychological Thriller, and Genres of Literature: Short Stories.

The school board’s approval comes after the school’s Curriculum Advisory Council, a group composed of teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors, analyzed and evaluated the proposals.

“Where we are right now is that ultimately we wanted to be able to provide more options to our students,” Walker said. “The state of Indiana requires eight credits over the course of your four years of high school, but we were finding that there were some courses lacking student interest. We dropped a few courses this year that students just weren’t interested in taking anymore, and we decided as we were offering new courses to keep student choice in mind, and specifically student interest.”

Walker added, “We really hope that as we’re creating the curriculum, the teachers who teach the courses are also passionate about those genres or those themes themselves; we think it’ll be really powerful to have a teacher teaching a class that they’re invested and interested in, and also having a student taking a class that they’re invested and interested in.”

Sophomore Ishaan Singh said he agreed the classes had certain advantages for students specifically interested in the fields related to the class.

“(The classes are) good to have more specializing for students who want to go into (a field) like that,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t take it myself because I’ve planned out what I’m taking in high school already, but I would definitely recommend it to other people like my siblings if they don’t really like to do nonfiction or grammar and are more interested in a greater variety of classes.”

“It’s a very specific opportunity for people that want to do it, but the main issue is that those classes are also highly subjective–it’s hard to objectively grade comedy (for example).”

Walker said, “(Classes) like Creative Writing and Etymology used to be electives, but now they count for a core English class, so we’ve added more options to that. It’s just really reflecting over the last few years and the last curriculum cycle that we’re in over what students need and what they want.”

“We’re really trying as a department to bring more diversity into the texts we’re reading, so I hope these new literature classes provide diverse forms of literature–genres, themes, you name it–just providing more for our students.”

The courses will be available for rising juniors and seniors starting next year.