New Classes Arrive at York Suburban High School

By Madelyn Glennon

Many new options involving course selection are arriving to the York Suburban student body in the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.

Most notably, the structure for physical education classes is completely shifting. Starting with the class of 2020, this year’s juniors, students will only be required to complete three semesters of gym class: two semesters of the traditional 9-10th grade physical education course, as well as one semester of the traditional 11-12th grade physical education course offered in 2018-19 or one semester of one of the new elective upperclassmen physical education offerings.

Upcoming upperclassmen will have the choice of four new elective courses: Competitive Sports for Fitness, Fitness Fusion, Personal Fitness/Weight Training, and Lifetime Sports and Recreation. P.E. classes are also changing to a six-day cycle model.

Freshman Theo Noble would prefer there be no change to the gym classes. He said, “I would like to just double up on gym class next year [take PE each semester], and get it all out of the way, but it seems like now I can’t do that.”

Junior Ella Kelly likes the idea of options, but she wishes it were approached a bit differently. She feels that they should be offered from freshman year, instead of junior. She said that “having the choice from ninth grade will allow people to focus on the fitness that interests them at and in which they can excel, as opposed to only applying a single standard of physical fitness to everyone.” Kelly said,  “it allows the individual to choose where they feel they could perform the best and learn the most from.”

Competitive Sports for Fitness would include a variety of team sports, such as basketball, soccer, flag football, and ultimate frisbee, all played in a competitive environment. Students more interested in group activities that revolve around personal improvement regarding cardiovascular movement, muscle toning, flexibility, and balance, may think to consider taking Fitness Fusion. Activities will include yoga, running, Pilates, Tae Bo, Just Dance, and Zumba.

The Personal Fitness/Weight Training course would involve designing a personalized fitness plan, and working on activities inside, outdoors, and in the fitness room in order to achieve a specific goal. Lifetime Sports and Recreation focuses on activities that can be enjoyed throughout one’s lifetime, such as tennis, dance, golf, pickleball, among others.

Freshman Olivia Gibson thinks that the Lifetime Sports and Recreation PE elective will be a great addition to her schedule once she becomes a junior. When asked, Olivia noted that “it’s a step away from what you would normally view a traditional gym class to be.”

In the math department, more courses surrounding financial literacy and programming will be added. The Mathematics of Financial Literacy is a year-long course designed for seniors. Students will learn principles for saving, budgeting, loans, investments, insurance, taxes, etc. through the application of the math that underlies these topics, in order to be able to make good financial choices in their future.

According to the 2019-20 Course Catalog, the Intermediate Programming with Python class will “enable students to design code utilizing graphical user interfaces (GUI) and adding widgets such as text, text boxes, buttons, sliders, pictures, etc. The focus will be handling the interaction of the widgets and how the data/information is being processed through the construction of classes and events listeners.” It is a semester course offered to all students in grades 9 through 12.  

For students interested in entering a career related to children, such as education, social work, or pediatric medicine, Applied Child Development may be a perfect schedule addition. The class is an extension of Child Development, and topics surrounding that course will be further explored and applied.

In Guitar Production, a one-semester course accessible to each grade level, students taking the course will be able to learn about how guitars are made through looking at the design elements, and how guitars are assembled and produced. All of these new course offerings allow students at York Suburban to choose classes that apply more to their interests and goals.