New classes spark anticipation from students


Jos Mendez

Students discuss future classes with counselors like Mr. Leahy

Honors or regular? One AP or two? Tech credit or art credit? With course variety more vast than ever, students must carefully comb through and select the classes that are right for them.
Each year, in an effort to make relevant and expand curriculum, Saint Viator adds a number of additional courses. Registrar Mrs. Stefania Svejnoha has expressed the intent of future curriculum.
“Eight new classes are expected to be offered by next year,” Svejnoha said.
These will reach all levels as well as require differing skill sets and prerequisites. The most extensive additions will be found in the Science, Fine Arts, and Mathematics departments.
The Science department will be offering two new courses: AP Environmental Science and Chem/Phys. Sophomores and juniors are particularly excited about the addition of AP Environmental due to the now larger, available selection for the sciences. Sophomore Olivia Strozak expressed her interest for the class.
“I’m looking forward to learning more about the world around me and trying an AP science for the first time,” Strozak said.
Equivalent to a first-year college course, AP Environmental will delve into concepts related to the natural world and its outside interactions. Interspecies relationships, energy transfer, and sustainability are all key focuses of the class. Labs as well as various field trips will be crucial and prevalent parts of the learning process. Though the course still presents challenge, students typically find it easier to grasp and more enjoyable than other AP options. Successful completion of Biology and Chemistry is the class’s prerequisite.
Next year, Fine Arts is expecting the addition of three new classes: AP Music Theory, Music Appreciation and Exploration, and A Brief Survey of Fine Arts. These additions cover a large variety of interests and skills that will cater to all.
Students interested in a more rigorous, in-depth fine art can take AP Music Theory. The class will work extensively to build skills related to reading, writing, and performing a variety of music. Prerequisites include either one full year in band/choir or participation in the theater program. Additionally, proficiency in reading and writing musical notation is crucial.
Those looking for a more relaxed yet still highly informative class may turn to A Brief Survey of Fine Arts. Though only a semester long, the class rotates focus every three weeks. Subjects include band, choir, theater, and visual arts, which provide greater exposure for students. As an entry level class, there are no prerequisites.
To gain more career-based classes, next year, Saint Viator will further its partnership with Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and offer Principles of Engineering. This is the next step after successful completion of Introduction to Engineering Design (IED).
In this class, students will apply pre-existing knowledge from IED to more difficult and in-depth engineering concepts. Robotics and robotic programming will be a main focus of the class, as well as exploration in the fields of manufacturing, kinematics, and civil engineering. Similar to IED, the course fosters student collaboration and communication that extends well beyond the class itself.
Expansion of the Mathematics Department brings forth the addition of Introduction to Calculus and AP Precalculus.
Introduction to Calculus will provide students a brief review of Precalculus and cover Calculus topics like derivatives, limits, and definite/indefinite integrals. This course serves as preparation for those planning to take Calculus in college. Successful completion of a Precalculus class is the only prerequisite.
With so many new and pre-existing classes, students often find selection difficult and overwhelming. Sophomores especially find selection challenging due to the pressure and academic demands of junior year. Discovering and maintaining balance between requirement, rigor, and achievability proves to be quite a daunting task. Sophomore, Anna Vernoski, expressed her difficulty regarding class selection.
“This year, the hardest part was trying to fit the right amount of credits into my schedule,” Vernoski said.
When building out a schedule, students typically begin with their required classes. Level variations occur based on recommendation as well as desired amount of rigor on the student’s part. Once requirements are in place, students then assess their need for credits in areas like fine arts, PE, and language. If there is room remaining, students then select classes that appeal to their interests. Recently, popular choices have included Forensics, Photography, and Mobile Apps.
Though the process appears overwhelming at times, Saint Viator students are guided through upperclassman advice as well as counselor support. Sophomore Yuliana Campos expressed the benefit of receiving advice from her older sibling.
“Choosing classes became so much easier after hearing what worked for my brother when he attended Viator,” Campos said.
Options are numerous, and paths are winding. However, with due diligence and desire to succeed, choosing classes becomes manageable. As departments expand, and variations are introduced, new, exciting opportunities continue to be presented to students.