From desktop publishing to guitar lessons to preparing for emerging “green” industries, York County's high school students will have a bevy of new course choices next school year.
In all, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and York schools are planning to add more than 30 new classes. Clover schools have yet to announce new course offerings.
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With state money for education shrinking, school officials said it's tough to pay for everything they'd like to add.
Teachers and students in Rock Hill have pushed for a film class and a dance class, but the money isn't there, said Sheila Huckabee, executive director of secondary education.
And some classes that have been added never start due to a lack of student interest. A class called “historical perspectives of world religions” is often on the schedule, but draws too few students to launch, Huckabee said.
“The name of the game is, do we have kids to fill classes,” she said.
Here's a sampling of what high schoolers in York can sign up for next school year:
York Comprehensive High
English and math essentials, grades 9-10: “This series of courses was added to strengthen our support system for students,” said Audrey Allan, director of middle and secondary programs. Students get additional instruction in fundamental skills in English 1, algebra 1 and geometry.
College English and math fundamentals, grades 11-12: These courses help students preparing for college entrance exams and dual credit classes in high school. The classes are intended to keep students from taking remedial courses in college, which don't earn them college credit and can't be paid for with state education lottery money.
Green STEM Technology, grades 10-12: A $40,000 grant is paying for this course, which combines science, technology, engineering and math to prepare students to study emerging technology fields such as solar power, nuclear energy, wind energy, fuel cell technology, hydropower, bio fuels and green construction. The York school district is one of five in the state offering the program, Superintendent Vernon Prosser said.
Culinary arts 1 and 2, grades 10-12: Students enrolled in the courses will prepare to study or work in the food production and service industry. Laboratory exercises simulate commercial food production and service operations.