As course registration takes place, Heritage is preparing for the upcoming school year’s slew of courses. Although it’s hard to tell what that slew may look like, pieces are falling into place, as the expected “normal” school year brings new opportunities for students and teachers alike.
Assistant Principal Dave Heimer, Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Heritage, explains the temporary disappearance of some courses from the 2020-21 school year. Some of these courses include Greek Mythology, World Mythology, Creative Writing, Speech and Debate, Colorado History, Russian History, World Religions, and Science Research.
“Due to the block schedule and the smaller class sizes, there wasn’t enough room in the schedule for these classes. It’s not that those have gone away,” says Heimer. “They did this year due to the circumstances of the pandemic and the two cohorts, but this is an anomaly.”
Though the schedule plays a role in which classes are available, there is much more to the process.
“It depends on if kids sign up for the course or not. Every course is offered, but, and this is not the case because registration hasn’t happened yet, if Sports Medicine only had seven kids sign up for it, we probably wouldn’t run it, because that’s not enough kids to run it. Everything that’s in The Prospector Guide [the compiled list of Heritage’s courses] is confirmed as potentially running, but every year it depends on what kids are requesting,” says Heimer. “It also depends on staffing, which depends on how many kids we have going here full time. We get money per student which pays for teachers, materials, and everything else.”
While several courses are on track to return to schedules in the 2021-22 school year, there are some completely new courses that will be introduced. One of these is AP Microeconomics, more casually referred to as AP Micro. Mr. Rob Ridenour, a Social Studies teacher, will be teaching this class.
“I want Heritage to have AP Micro because I think it’s an incredibly applicable class to a kid. It’s all about our individual decision making and how individuals fit into the economy around us,” says Ridenour. “I think it’s a really exciting class to see how students grow up and operate these markets.”
Even though this is Ridenour’s first year teaching at Heritage, he is quite experienced with AP Microeconomics from his time teaching in Chicago.
“It’s actually my favorite class to teach. I taught it back in Chicago for about ten years. Last year I taught AP Micro in a remote setting, so I definitely have some experience teaching that specific course remotely,” says Ridenour.
There were also some classes which were available to hybrid learners, but unavailable to online learners. Some students enrolled in the Temporary Online Program for Students (TOPS) were unable to take certain classes this year due to their type of learning. EmShay Klein ’22, a TOPS learner, is one of these students, and is looking forward to a second chance at these courses.
“I wanted to take Plant Ecology and Marine Ecology. I’m interested in Biology and how living things work, but since I’m in TOPS I only had one option: Chemistry. Next year I’m going to take [Plant Ecology and Marine Ecology] instead of Physics,” says Klein.
The upcoming school year seems to be ushering in more opportunities for diverse student schedules, and Heritage is ready for the changes.
“There’s always a little bit of uncertainty anytime you try something new or do something different. I think that’s always in the back of your mind,” says Ridenour. “Regardless of what next school year brings, and I really hope we’re back in the classroom, we’ll be ready to go.”
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