By Fanny Zhao ’19
It’s almost time to choose your classes for the fall semester. There are required classes you have to take for the next semester, and there are also many electives you can take.
Electives are optional classes students choose to take. There are different science, math, social studies, foreign language and English electives offered.
For example, current freshmen in the modern science track of the Medical Science program can choose between Medical Issues or Psychobiology. Current sophomores in this track can choose from Anatomy and Physiology, Forensics, Medical Issues, and Psychobiology. Current Juniors can choose any of these science electives.
Sports Med and Emergency Med are both electives taught by the physical education department which are offered to anyone who wants to take it. Students who take this class receive a science credit.
Srijani Banerjee ’19 is currently taking Forensics, in
which students are analyzing blood spatter.
“Solving crimes is interesting to me,” said Banerjee. “It’s a hands-on class where I get to learn a lot of techniques to solve certain cases.”
Current sophomores in the pre-engineering track can choose either Mechatronics or AutoCAD.
Furthermore, math electives offered are Microsoft Suite, Intro to Python, Statistics, and Advanced Topics in Mathematics. Microsoft Suite is offered to freshmen, Intro to Python is for current freshmen and sophomores, and juniors can take Statistics and Advanced Topics in Mathematics.
According to Mr. Samuel Keener, who teaches Microsoft Suite, students in the class learn to use productivity programs like Word and Excel “like professionals.” Students also learn the basics of computer coding.
In the social studies department, A.P. Capstone Social Science is offered to current freshmen in the Humanities program who must apply to be considered. Current Humanities sophomores in A.P. Capstone can choose to take AP. Human Geography or any English or social studies electives.
Seerat Tarar ’20 is taking A.P. Capstone Social Science where she said students work on college level papers and presentations with skills such as communication, teamwork, and individual research.
“I took the class since it was an opportunity to do higher level learning while still in high school, and it’s also a great program and looks very good on college applications,” said Tarar. “I personally like the class since there’s always something new to learn, and it’s a challenge so it never gets boring.”
In addition, A.P. Human Geography is available to all students, but current Humanities sophomores in A.P. Capstone Social Science who apply are guaranteed acceptance.
Introduction to Law is also open to all students; how- ever, priority is given first to current freshmen Humanities students who select the law track, and then to current sophomore Humanities students who are doubling up in social studies. Likewise, Urban History is available to current sophomores. However, those who are Gilder Lehrman students are prioritized to be selected.
“Students should take Urban History because we want [them] to be involved in their communities,” said Mr. Eugene Resnick. “The Urban History class is a way for students to learn about different communities in New York City. We learn [about] history, policy, and what’s going on presently. We think about [what] the city should look like, what makes a livable city, what has worked in the past, and what can work in the future. By thinking about these issues, we want to encourage more civic engagement with the issues facing our communities.”
America in Vietnam is offered to current juniors, but priority is given to continuing Gilder Lehrman students, and then all current juniors.
Criminology is a new course that will be offered in the fall in which current sophomore Humanities students in the law track are given priority. Students who have taken both Introduction to Law and Criminal Justice can choose to take this class.
Humanities students in the law track who are not interested in Criminology can choose any English or social studies electives.
Lastly, Community Service is available to all students.
According to Tu Tu Kwok ’19, who is currently taking Community Service, students work in non-profit organizations in the community and log their hours to keep track of them for a total of 60 hours by the end of the semester. Students meet up once a week to do a written assignment usually about their plans in college or after college, but the assignments vary.
“I love it because it’s nice to gain some experience, which you could fill your resume with and give back to the community too,” said Kwok, “and it’s easy to pass.”
Foreign language electives like A.P. Spanish and A.P. French are offered to students who passed the LOTE exam and have a 90 or above in their Spanish or French class.
Moreover, Spanish 7 and 8 and French 7 and 8 are for students who have taken the language for three years in Midwood.
According to Ms. Teresa Fernandez, the Assistant Principal of the World Languages and ENL Department, A.P. French is returning as an elective after it was removed 12 years ago. It was removed because of budget cuts and not enough students were taking the course. In addition, Latin will be offered to current freshmen humanities students. If enough students sign up for the Latin, it will become a class.
Yosselin Castillo Morales ’19 is taking A.P. Spanish and is learning more about the Spanish culture.
“The class is a great way of further advancing one’s skills on the language,” said Morales. “It certainly helps challenge you to try and better yourself.”
Ms. Susanna Sala, who currently teaches Spanish 7, said, “I always recommend students to continue Spanish and learn more. The more Spanish the better.”
According to Ms. Sala, the class focuses more on current events and students are able to “use more imagination.” Last year, students have been making videos in Spanish about any topic, like what they did for vacation, and exchanging them to a middle school in Spain.
English electives are classes students choose to take in addition to another English class. For example, the current electives offered are A.P. Language and Composition, A.P. Literature and Composition, Art and Literature, Public Speaking, A.P. Capstone-Science Research, Drama, True Crimes, African American Literature and Culture, Scientific Non-Fiction, and Yearbook.
A.P. Language and Composition, A.P. Literature and Composition, Art and Literature, and A.P. Capstone- Science Research are all year-long classes and are offered to current sophomores and juniors; all the other electives have a separate fall semester course and a spring semester course and are for current juniors. In addition, these courses are open to a few current sophomores who choose to take them.
Stephanie Wong ’19 said, “I would recommend this class to students who are really interested in different styles of writing, writing techniques, and writing structures, as this will help people become better critical readers.”
Current LASI juniors can choose from any of the above electives, unless there are prerequisite classes for the electives. All students should start thinking about what electives they want to take so that it prepares them when they have their schedule meeting with their guidance counselors.