By CAITLYN L.J. KIM
A new computer science course, AP Computer Science Principles, will be available for students who have completed Math 2 for the upcoming 2020-21 school year. An intermediate studio arts course will also be available to students next year.
AP Computer Science Principles, which will be taught by Mr. Bryan Kinney, is intended to be more of a transition into computer science, tailored towards students with little to no experience coding.
“Principles is more about how the digital age works. So we talk about how computers connect to each other over the internet. We talk about encryption and security, we talk about ethical questions,” Mr. Kinney said. “Principles is going to be a much better class for those who haven’t done any coding before and just want to get their feet wet.”
Mr. Kinney had been getting requests from students and parents for the past few years to offer another computer science course.
“I was kind of waiting until it seemed like there were enough requests for it,” Mr. Kinney said. “Also, I have a lot of students who take Computer Science A with no programming experience and I’ve watched them struggle, so I want to offer them a class where they can still learn a lot but be more successful.”
The new class is intended for sophomore, junior, and senior students.
“In the catalog I put sophomores [and above]… we’ll see how it goes this year and if I can open it up to freshmen in the future then I’d be willing to do that.” Mr. Kinney said.
AP Computer Science Principles will be implemented next year depending on student participation.
“[It’s] up to students. It has been approved by the school… and it will be on the course selection sheets. But we need students to sign up,” Mr. Kinney said.
An official Intermediate Studio Art class will also be available to students next year, although it has unofficially existed for the past two to three years as a part of the Studio Art class.
“For the last couple years there have been a small pocket of kids who aren’t ready for Advanced Studio Art but are clearly way past beginning [Studio Art]… and so it’s time for there to be an official course for those kids so that their transcripts are properly reflecting their abilities,” co-chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department Ms. Ranae Bettger said.
Intermediate Studio Art will be a mixed class including students who are taking Studio Art, the beginning art course. Students can be enrolled in Intermediate Studio Art by either completing Studio Art or getting their portfolio checked by Ms. Dana Kramer, who can then place them in the appropriate class.
“Although casually in the classroom they have been referring to it as Intermediate [Studio] Art, it’s never been a course that someone could sign up for based on the description,” Ms. Bettger said. “It’s just something that’s always existed but hasn’t had an official title.”