New science and math classes available in 2018-2019 school year

Melissa Irish, Editor in Chief

As students begin to register for high school classes at the start of the second semester, they will find some changes hidden away in the registration guide.

For the 2018-2019 school year, three new classes are being added to both Bellevue East and Bellevue West: Anatomy and Physiology, AP Computer Science Principles, and Calculus BC.

“Students have expressed interest in these types of classes,” counselor Susan Polk said.  “Also, the district makes decisions based on which classes they think will be helpful for students.  They are working pretty heavily on career paths, and some of these classes have to do with the opening up of career paths to students.”

Science teacher Erik Johnson said he believed that the Anatomy and Physiology course may be useful to prepare students for college-level science classes.

“I am all for having options for students to advance in their science preparation for college,” Johnson said.  “More doesn’t necessarily always mean better, but in this case, there are some things that can help students prepare better for science careers and one of those things is having extra science classes.”

Johnson has been assisting in developing the curriculum for Anatomy and Physiology.  He has been meeting with a group of nine people as they decide on the details, contemplate prerequisites, and look over the Anatomy and Physiology textbook.

“Basically it’s Med. Bio. on steroids,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be a lot more deeper scale, with probably a lot more essay writing and more in-depth learning.”

When math teacher Angela Daughtrey recieved the news that Calculus BC was going to be added, she was elated.

“Mrs. Sailors over at Bellevue East and I have been fighting for this for over 10 years,” Daughtrey said.  “We wrote the curriculum for this in 2006-ish, so we’ve been lobbying for this for a long time.  I was super excited that our dreams were going to finally come true.”

Her collaborator at Bellevue East, Valorie Sailors, has been interested in the opportunities this course can provide its students for years.

“I was interested in having the BC course as soon as I started teaching calculus because I was excited that it could offer both Calculus I and II credit in the same year,” Sailors said in an email. “I often have students that choose to study extra for the BC exam and take it instead of the AB exam and they usually do very well, but I always thought it would help them improve their scores if they could have it taught in class instead of independent-study.”

To Daughtrey, the potential benefits extend past class credits.

“It really allows for students who are really good at mathematics to advance themselves and then it’s another way for the juniors who only have the option for Stats AP their senior year to have another class,” Daughtrey said.

The number of teachers and available sessions for each class will not be determined until after students begin to register this upcoming spring.

“We’re excited for these changes coming up next year and we hope to share more information with students next semester as we do registration,” Polk said.