New courses diversify Program of Studies

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By Aaron Wang, Staff Reporter From the English Department to Business and Technology, students can anticipate seven new courses available during the 2022-2023 school year. After department chairs met with administration last year to propose and write these new classes and as course selection approaches, students will see widened options for academic growth. After polling...

By Aaron Wang, Staff Reporter

From the English Department to Business and Technology, students can anticipate seven new courses available during the 2022-2023 school year. After department chairs met with administration last year to propose and write these new classes and as course selection approaches, students will see widened options for academic growth.

After polling students two years ago, the English Department discovered a keen student interest in Language of Film, a course cut from the Program of Studies more than 10 years ago. Reintroducing the course provides students with a new, semester-long elective.

“As an elective, it’s in place to allow students (who) have a genuine interest in film to study it more deeply and more intentionally,” English Department Chair Karen Gately said. “One of the goals is to expose students to (films) that they maybe haven’t yet seen.”

Basketball is also making its return after more than a decade. For students who enjoy the sport, it will provide an opportunity to participate in class matches and championships. Additionally, a calmer form of exercise, Mind-Body P.E,. allows students to improve both their flexibility and their mind-body connection through Tai Chi, yoga and meditation. The course, providing a physical outlet through which students can relax, aims to expose students to new stress relief techniques and improve their physical and mental health. 

“We know that our Conestoga students have sometimes stressful (days),” Jones said. ““There’s been a movement in general, especially with the times lately, creating a lot of stress for us during COVID times, and we really feel that this class— , Mind-Body P.E.— , would help toward (relieving that stress).”.

Early Learning Play and Development, the newest addition to Conestoga Preschool, now enables freshmen and sophomores to learn about child care. By emphasizing play-based learning centers and observation, the course aims to improve students’ experience with children in the classroom.  

Joining Early Learning Play and Development in the FCS Department is Signature Dish, a course that allows students to show their creativity while discovering and honing their cooking style, culminating in a “signature dish” at the end of the course. As the only FCS course that will meet every school day, students will be able to dive deeper into culinary arts. FCS teacher Michele McMonagle will teach Signature Dish, and believes the course’s style will cultivate students’ creativity.

“My vision is that it would be more student-motivated and I would be more of a facilitator,” McMonagle said. “Students are really trying to come up with their own signature dish. What do they like? What do they like to cook?” 

For those more interested in technology, the Business/Technology Department divided their engineering course in two: Engineering Design and Automated Production, and Architectural Design. Focusing on the production aspect of engineering, the former offers students an opportunity to use 2D and 3D Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) programs. Once students draft their designs, the Fabrication Lab’s laser engraver, 3D printers and other machines create the physical products. 

Architectural Design will teach students both the practical applications of architecture through hands-on activities, including drawing floor plans, wiring circuits and linking pipes. Austin hopes Architectural Design as a course will improve students’ learning experiences, allowing those interested in architecture the possibility to acquire a base knowledge of the study. 

“We’re also going to add depth to the class,” Austin said. “It’s not going to be just a broad brush stroke across the top surface of residential architecture, we’re going to be able to dive into the why — Why is it like that? Why do we design it that way? — so I’m really excited about that.”

In total, Conesotga is adding seven new courses to the 2022-2023 academic year. While some may find the course selection process to be more stressful because of the increased number of courses, sophomore Sachin Blake is excited about all of the new options. 

“It’s also really amazing how many programs are offered at Conestoga, and so these new additions just keep expanding it. (People’s interests are) just so varied, (especially) in such a big school, that I think it’s great that we have so many programs (that are) so diversified, because everybody can find a course that really excites them,” sophomore Sachin Blake said.  “Sometimes it’s rare that you find something in school that excites you.” 


Aaron Wang can be reached at [email protected]

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