By : Melany Calderon & Denice Medina
The school district has added three new classes for upcoming juniors and seniors that include Ethnic Studies and Advanced Placement (AP) Ecology.The school will also add an optional course for English, Multicultural Literature, which will emphasize inclusivity and allow students to discuss different topics and cultures, rather than focusing on the traditional curriculum. The curriculum for AP Ecology and Ethnic Studies has not been completed yet.
English teacher Mackenzie Bedford described Multicultural Literature as an open, discussion-based class where students can learn about culture, prejudice, racism, and tolerance. Students will use textbooks and receive credit for the A-G requirement, but the course will go more into depth about identity and explore different cultures.
Multicultural Literature gained many San Marin students’ attention because of its academic space for questions to be answered.
“This course is being created to help address equity issues in our school and provide students an opportunity to specifically explore issues related to race and gender and identity in literature, non-fiction texts, and writing,” Bedford said. “We are creating it by looking at examples of how other schools are doing this and building off of their ideas while adding our own thoughts and ideas.”
Due to the current equity issues, students have been interested in seeing new perspectives that were not included in the old curriculum.
“I think there has been a huge interest in students to learn from more diverse voices,” Bedford said.“I also think there’ve been students to express interest for more choice rather than just an AP class or an English 11 or ERWC. Students in eleventh and twelfth grade have expressed wanting to have different choices for English classes. It’s nice to offer something else.”
This class will be an addition to the traditional English courses. Students in twelfth or eleventh grade can choose regular English or Multicultural Literature. Juniors will be the first students this semester to be able to select courses from Jan. 27 through Feb. 27. Sophomores will be able to select courses from Feb. 28 through Mar. 19. Freshmen will select courses from Mar.17 through Apr. 2. During this period, students will be able to select courses and learn more about what each curriculum entails.
During this time, rising seniors are selecting next year’s classes through their course selection sheet. New inclusive courses have been added to the course sheet such as Multicultural Literature and Ethic Studies.