Dropped Classes

New Global Citizens course threatens to cut niche electives.


Connor Killeen

Starting this year incoming freshmen will take a Global Community Citizenship class, curbing enrollment in other electives. Before the 2019-20 school year students were required to have completed health, a gym credit and an art credit before graduation. “In years past we may have offered four sections of criminal justice, now we are offering three…It nibbled at each department instead of taking out a whole class,” Lindsay Abruzzo said.

Connor Killeen, Editor-in-Chief, Digital Edition

As class finalization forms were handed out this past April, students enrolled in niche programs were shocked to find that some of their favorite classes were being discontinued. Many students rushed to blame class cancellations on administration, which has been trying to accommodate the new Global Community Citizenship course, though no new teachers have been recruited to teach the class.

Incoming ninth graders will be forced to take the new class starting in the fall of 2019. The goal of the curriculum is to “explore the values and diversity of our local, national, and global communities. Through real world occurrences and issues, students identify and discuss topics, events, and essential questions relevant to their local community which allow them to understand their role in demonstrating civic virtues,” according to the AACPS website. 

The most vocal of the classes that have been dropped has been percussion. As of now the plan is to offer two band classes in replacement for one band and one percussion class. However, percussion has started a petition that has received over 1,800 signatures to date in hopes of convincing the administration to offer the class.

“When I’m scheduling I first look at what do kids want? What kind of staffing do we have? We then meet with each department chair and suggest section numbers, they then go back and figure out what fits best into their teachers’ wheelhouses, assistant principal Lindsay Abruzzo said.”

The administration’s main goal is to make sure that the teachers that are hired have full time jobs. The new global community course has cut classes here and there but has not had the dramatic effect that was expected. “In years past we may have offered four sections of criminal justice, now we are offering three…It nibbled at each department instead of taking out a whole class,” Abruzzo said.

Department chairs are at the heart of the conversation when choosing the classes being offered because they know their teachers best. “We outline for them and they can take our recommendations and figure out what’s best for their department. [In the case of band] they have decided that this year two band classes was better for the music department as a whole than offer a strict percussion class because the enrollment at the time of allocation was so small.”

Since all classes must be finalized and given to the school board by May 1, counselors have a small window to make changes to class selections and notify teachers that will be instructing them so that all programs can fit into the scheduling puzzle.