New High School Courses for 2020-21
New Music, Art, French Classes Added
Manchester Township High School will offer several new courses for the 2020-2021 school year, including a restructuring of music department offerings. MTHS administrators reviewed the changes at the January Board of Education meeting.
The most significant updates are in the Music Department, which is restructuring their course offerings into academy tracks with options for Instrumental, Vocal or General Music studies. They will offer a certificate for students who complete a four-year academy track. New or updated courses in music are Band I, II, III, and IV; Band III and IV Honors; Instrumental Chamber Ensemble; Treble Choir/Bass Choir I, II, III, and IV; Treble Choir/Bass Choir III and IV Honors; Guitar & Piano Lab; and History of Popular Music.
Vocal Music Teacher, Dwight Weaver, explained that currently there is a band and advanced band course, and a choir and advanced choir course. Students may be in these advanced courses for multiple years. Weaver said that he and Instrumental Music Teacher, Sarah Culp, felt that dividing the courses into different levels, one through four, would allow them to set higher standards for students and make expectations clearer as they progress through the program. Culp said that offering the weighted honors courses was also important to both attract new students and keep students in the program. Acceptance to the honors level would be by audition.
The high school’s new AIM program for eighth graders who are struggling in math or English includes interventions and a summer program to help students master the skills needed for freshman courses. Students who do not demonstrate readiness will no longer be automatically enrolled in freshman Algebra I or English 9 courses, MTHS Vice Principal Tracey Raimondo explained. Instead, they will have to take Pre-Algebra and/or Foundations of English, which are new remedial courses for incoming freshmen who have not demonstrated readiness for Algebra I or English 9. Students would receive 5 credits for these remedial courses as electives, but they will not qualify as English or Math graduation requirement credits.Students who demonstrate proficiency at the end of these courses in the fall would then be able to take their Algebra I and/or English 9 in the spring to catch up with their grade level.
In the area of Art Technology, Advanced Games & Apps and Computer Animation II are new 5-credit courses that offer higher level options for students in current courses. Mr. Adams said that these art technology courses were doing very well with high enrollments.
In World Language, numbers are up in French classes and the school will offer a new French III Honors course. Adams said that this would provide French students with the option to take weighted honors courses, which are already available to Spanish students. He said that if this is successful, they would potentially offer French IV Honors in 2021-22.