by Lauren Holzmann | arts and entertainment editor

As course card season begins to unfold, you are now stuck trying to figure out what classes to take next school year. With such a large school, there are several options to chose from and a range of activities that cover various interests and talents. As you gaze down at the ominous course sheet in front of you, you may wonder whether the courses you choose will affect your future career.

“I think it’s safe to say there’s at least 100 electives available just because of all of the different levels and everything,” lead counselor Courtney Tarbox said.

Most students have a preconceived idea of what electives they will be taking because of the new endorsement plan (IGP), while others are still trying to figure out what endorsement path they want to pursue next year.

“Our newer students, our 9th and 10th graders, [are following the] endorsement [which] are really driving that they are sticking with those programs and that those programs are growing,” Tarbox said.

Some students choose their endorsement to pursue their interests, while others may choose electives to fill the holes in their schedules.

“I chose nutrition because it leads to the health profession. [I chose band because] I like music and drumline is pretty cool,” sophomore Allison Dooley said. “Nutrition could get [me] really far [in the program] because it leads into clinical rotations, which could prepare you for your future.”

Other students may chose to take additional years of a certain class, such as a foreign language, which can then count as an elective course. These courses would then count toward the credits necessary for graduation, as well as allow students to potentially obtain either a college or AP credit.

“This year I am taking orchestra and Spanish. I took Spanish because I needed the credit and it will help me graduate. Then I took orchestra because I really enjoy playing instruments and I might as well,” sophomore Parisa Hemmat said.

In order to graduate on the new Interactive Graduation Plan (IGP), students must have at least six and a half elective credits, according to Tarbox.

“Under the old plan, we had students that were required to have at least four to five electives depending on years of a foreign language they took,” Tarbox said. “On the graduation plan that our current 9th and 10th graders are on, they are required to have six and a half electives at least.”

Even though there are several electives that are available to choose from, some may require the completion of certain prerequisite courses, have a grade requirement, or other factors that may limit the amount of students that can take that particular course.

“It depends on the program because of course when you think about like a sport, there are athletic teams that have tryouts because they can only can carry so many students on a roster,” Tarbox said. “That by itself would limit the number of students that may be able to be in that class. The other thing that may limit it is the size of the classroom and equipment needed.”

And for those students who still need elective credits but are unsure of what course to take, and/or how to allocate room in their schedule, there are some classes that can be taken that may count as electives in certain cases.

“An elective is anything beyond the state graduation requirements. So for example, the state plans do require at least two years of the same foreign language but if a student chose to take four years of a foreign language, two of those years would become electives,” Tarbox said. “The same goes for math and sciences. We have many students that may take advanced AP level sciences and anything beyond the four required sciences become electives. Same with social studies and math and those other departments as well.”

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About The Author

Lauren Holzmann is a senior at Johnson High School and is a second year writer for MyJagNews. She is currently the Arts and Entertainment editor. She is also involved in orchestra where she holds an officer position as well as a member in the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Friends Club and is a peer tutor for the special needs students. When she isn't working, Lauren is usually hanging out with friends or binge watching multiple shows simultaneously on Netflix. She is also perfectly capable of remembering every Parks and Recreation episode ever made and wishes she was able to try waffles from JJ's Diner. She has 3 dogs, each more stubborn than the next and a younger sister with whom she shares her birthday.

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