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New Kent High School to offer six new electives in 2014-2015

By Amy Jo Martin, amartin@tidewaterreview.com

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NEW KENT – New Kent High School students will have six new electives to choose from for the 2014-2015 school year, ranging from guitar lessons to marketing.

The New Kent County School Board voted Monday night (Dec. 2) to approve new electives, as well as remove a zoology course, for one credit each.

"The high school staff and the science department felt that there were too many course offerings in the science department," said Nate Collins, executive director of Curriculum & Instruction, in a phone interview Tuesday.

"We think that eliminating the zoology course will give students a clearer pathway, and we still offer a number of other science electives."

The six new electives are:

•English College Seminar/Capstone Course (open to grades 11-12, college-bound students) - no fee

•Dual Enrollment College Algebra (prerequisite: A or B in Algebra II & 50 on PSAT Math or 500 on SAT Math, & teacher recommendation; Grades 10-12) - no fee

•Introduction to Marketing (Grades 9-12) - $10 fee

•Sports & Entertainment Marketing (Grades 9-12) - $10 fee

•Guitar I (Grades 9-12) - $40 fee (provide own instrument; may be available to rent)

•Guitar II (prerequisite: Guitar I or audition; Grades 9-12) - $40 fee (provide own instrument, may be available for rent)

According to Collins, the high school "has the ability with existing staff to offer these new courses…within the existing budget."

"All of the courses will adhere to appropriate state or university course standards, objectives, and competencies…and are in line with some state standards," Collins added.

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recommends an English college capstone course to make graduates college ready, said Collins.

Collins also said that with a recent revision to the Fine Arts Standards of Learning (SOL) testing now includes SOLs for guitar I and II.

"Offering guitar also is a great option for students maybe not interested in high school band or vocals to explore music in another way," Collins said. "It's been a very popular course offering in other high schools."

Below is an in-depth description of the courses.

English College Seminar/Capstone Course (1176): Designed to emphasize student choice and selection in reading, writing and research, this elective English class offers students the opportunity to continue developing critical thinking, reading, and writing skills for college. The work in the class is highly individualized and developed around students' personal interests.

Dual Enrollment College Algebra (3233): This course is a college algebra course for students not intending to take calculus, or for those who are accelerated 10th graders in math. This course presents algebraic topics through integrated technology, as well as application to real-world contexts, requiring collaborative problem-solving strategies.

Introduction to Marketing (8110): Students gain an understanding of the importance of marketing in today's society. They develop skills related to interpersonal communication, self-presentation, economics, marketing, sales, employability, career discovery, and ethical decision-making.

Sports & Entertainment Marketing (8175): This introductory course helps students develop a thorough understanding of fundamental marketing concepts and theories as they relate to the sports, entertainment, and recreation industries. Students will investigate the components of branding, sponsorships, and endorsements, as well as promotion plans needed for these events.

Guitar I (9245): Guitar I is a one-semester course covering the basics of playing guitar at the beginning level through studying music notation, chord symbols, and peer modeling. A brief history of the guitar, along with a study of its respective musical styles, will also be covered.

Guitar II (9247): The goals of Guitar II are for each student to learn to play the guitar, read music notation and guitar tablature, and to obtain advanced understanding of various guitar-playing styles.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.