New classes coming to Oceanside High School

English, World Language courses being considered


At the Board of Education meeting last week, Oceanside High School department heads outlined the changes to some of the district’s class offerings planned for the 2013-14 school year.

Beth Zirogiannis, the district’s director of English and Language Arts, and Dr. David Rose, director of the World Languages department, spoke about the new classes and course changes planned for next year.

The biggest changes proposed were to the ELA offerings at the high school level. Zirogiannis said that they wanted to add a Creative Writing 2 class to further the skills children learn in Creative Writing 1, which the district already offers, and help them learn how to write longer creative pieces.

The district also wanted to expand its Senior Seminar offerings. Until this year, Senior Seminar was a mandatory English class for high school seniors with only one offering. For this year, the district changed the way it offered the class and created an elective, college-like offering. Students were able to choose between two different seminars: Senior Seminar A offered Utopian and Dystopian Literature and Fantasy, Folklore and Fairy Tales (FFF). Senior Seminar B let students take The Graphic Novel and The World According to Shakespeare.

Under the new plan, the district will keep those four classes and add two more: Contemporary Fiction and Horror: Monsters in our Society.

“It gives [students] an experience akin to a college experience,” Zirogiannis said. “Very few school districts use this model.”

The only class being added to the World Language offerings is Italian 4. It will allow students coming from Italian 3 — after which they take the Regents exam — more options for continuing their education into the language.

The district also proposed changing the names of Spanish, French and Italian 4H to “Pre-AP,” indicating to students that taking those classes would put them on a two-year track to taking the AP exam, but not making it mandatory.

“They’re not signing a two-year contract with us,” Rose said. Students would be able to take a Pre-AP language and then opt out of the AP language the following year.

Spanish 4 would also be renamed “Pre-College Spanish” to make it more clear that it is a prerequisite for the district’s College Spanish class.