Thursday, March 06, 2003

new scheduling policies for next year

Topics in Social Sciences will be mandatory for all current freshmen. International Awareness will be mandatory for all current sophomores. And juniors are not allowed to take AP Comparative Politics. This is obviously to keep the "international relations" of the school intact, so it can follow its charter. There's little doubt that International Awareness would have crashed in two or three years.

One more rule, perhaps most disturbing, classes must have 10 or more students signed up to get off the ground.

This means AP Physics, AP Chemistry, AP Foreign Language, and AP Art History are all very unlikely to fly next year. Luckily, I've already taken AP Chemistry. But currently there are only 5 students besides me signed up for AP Physics. But if Sig were to go without AP Physics or Chemistry, Sig would hold no significant advantage over EVSC science programs (we'd have good teachers but only primary subjects).

The blunt reality is that Sig would not have been as successful as it was this year if they had implemented these policies last year. I know I personally would not have come to Sig if I had to take a superflulous Internation Awareness class (I say superflulous because I do foreign extemp, and I think I already know enough about the rest of the world), could not take Comparative Politics, and my 8 student AP Calc class, 4 student Spanish IV class, and AP Chem classes were cancelled.

And a good part of Sig's ex-Day School population came for Sig's science. The ex-Day Schoolers in the junior class have an average GPA of 3.9 or so. Sig might not attract the brightest as a result of this new policy.

I hope academic excellence does not move below international relations as Sig's primary goal.


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