WILMINGTON — The new Wilmington High School principal said four new WHS courses have some things in common: They are of high interest, each is open to grades nine through 12 and they’re all electives.
Moreover, three of the four courses are in language arts.
WHS Principal Mindy McCarty-Stewart said in rethinking an open position for a family and consumer science teacher, a language arts position was chosen as the direction to go.
A language arts teacher provides a lot of flexibility with course offerings, and for emphasizing creative approaches to pursue “literacy” across various academic subjects, McCarty-Stewart said. Courses that teach what’s called “soft skills” such as effective listening and communication “benefit all students in all areas, and also in career readiness,” said McCarty-Stewart.
The titles of the courses are Reading for Relevance, Literacy Through Technology, Creative Writing, and Independent Living & Wellness. WHS will no longer offer Food and Fitness, Relationships and Culture, nor Contemporary Nutrition.
The Literacy Through Technology course involves 21st-century skills, said the new principal, who the past six years was the principal for Mason High School. According to a course summary, students will be expected to demonstrate techniques through digital formats, including digital recordings, movie creation, presentations and website creation.
Reading for Relevance “dives into the concerns and thoughts of teens through the study of young adult literature,” a summary stated.
An example, said McCarty-Stewart, would be taking the theme of a novel and exploring it deeper “to what’s relevant today.”
A course in creative writing is a change of pace from “heavier reading” classes, and generally is “a very popular course” and offers “an outlet for students who try that elective,” she said.
Independent Living & Wellness will include exploration of “contemporary wellness topics through research, collaboration, guest speakers and experiences,” stated a summary. McCarty-Stewart said it’s a blend of popular topics covered in family and consumer science courses, but placed into the area of a health teacher.
This course is an elective course beyond the health class that’s required for high school graduation in Ohio, she said.
The WHS English Department staff came together to define what the new language arts courses would involve, said the principal.
Students who had requested the courses that were later dropped have been sent an email from a guidance counselor on how to select alternatives, McCarty-Stewart said. The displaced students get first priority to take the new courses, she added.
McCarty-Stewart was named as the WHS principal in early June.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.