Curriculum variety hits all time low

Olivia Deardorff, Writer

Curriculum, in any district, is a huge deal to students in order to let them experience different classes in school and figure out their career paths for later in life. New Berlin West is working on getting new courses for the upcoming school year, “Our thought process is that alternative classes in the schedules alternate and we are working on additional curriculum.” Julie Kader commented on the subject.

When asked about how the district knows what electives students are looking for, Ms. Kwiatkowski said “A part of our curriculum process is to include focus groups, so we have parent focus groups. Unfortunately I didn’t get to the student part yet but we’ll get there, I promise. You guys are an important voice since you know what your future needs to look like.”

Compared to New Berlin West, surrounding districts have a whole list of electives that West doesn’t offer. In the West Allis districts, Nathan Hale and Central high school both offer different kinds of subjects that New Berlin West does not. Nathan Hale offers a jewelry and mixed media art class, and a men’s choir. Both of these are unique choices opposed to New Berlin West which only has painting, drawing, sculpting, band, orchestra, and choir.

They offer German as a foreign language which is different but some students, like Zach Goodle in tenth grade, really want to be offered at our school. When asked what classes he wants offered at this school in the upcoming years, he stated, “German would be a class I would want to take.”

A media literacy class is offered as well as a magic club for those who have interest in these kinds of different classes. The media literacy class exposes students to various forms of media and develops the critical thinking skills needed to evaluate its content. They study movies, videos, radio, and much more, for an English class it would be a lot more interesting for the students to learn about.

Another couple of things they have are lifeguarding, and child development, which New Berlin West offers nothing close to. West Allis Central also offers a computer intelligence class for those interested in a career in technology. Central on the other side of West Allis offers a Technical writing class, culinary arts one and two, and an outdoor adventure class for gym. Culinary Arts is offered for family and consumer science but it is still offered to take.

They offer an integrated oceanology and meteorology class as well as a government and politics class. Very different than the science and social studies electives than we offer. Lastly they offer a wide spread of mechanics classes like power and auto mechanics, and metals.

In other districts in Wisconsin, such as Pewaukee and Brookfield High Schools offer some very exceptional classes offered to the students attending. Pewaukee High as well as West Allis Nathan Hale offer some family and consumer classes like culinary arts, parenting, and child development.

Art classes at West include painting, drawing, and sculpting, but Pewaukee offers an animation class and studio art one, two, and three. A unique class that is offered there as well is law and you. Supposedly New Berlin West offers a dramatic literature class but too few people signed up, however, Pewaukee offers it as a legitimate class that people sign up for. The Brookfield school district offers different classes that would ensure help for your future, like an actual writing for college class.

This school has a lot of different English electives, creative writing, the writing for college class, and something known as stagecraft. Stagecraft is a class that essentially helps a student understand how to produce a play. Another art class they offer is 3D design which may help those who want to go into animating and creating cartoons for a children’s show. On the other hand in the engineering department there is an automotive class as well as woodshop, but it takes a turn into art as well by having an art metals class.

At this school we don’t have as many interesting classes like Stagecraft from Pewaukee High, but Joe Hanson in twelfth grade suggested, “A fencing class or a club,” when asked what he would like to see offered here.

An important part of curriculum is an input from the population. Question was, what are some thoughts about the curriculum in this school? Senior classman Stephen Bhend said, “Bad because there is nothing here for anyone.”

Alexis Hirt in eleventh grade stated, “I think the curriculum is fine, but math isn’t as good because you don’t learn anything. Amanda Fisher and Rachel Sarnow both juniors as well, also had an issue with math in general. “I don’t like the math curriculum,” commented Fisher and Sarnow finished with, “Have teachers be more involved.”

According to Kelli Kwiatkowski in the district office you can suggest courses for the board to look at and discuss, “If students do have interest I am open for them emailing me with ideas.” ([email protected])