The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

D219 Board Approves New Courses for the 2024-2025 School Year

District 219 logo.

The D219 Board of Education approved nine new courses for the 2024-2025 school year at its Nov. 14 meeting. Additionally, 11 courses will be revised, and two courses will have a name change.

The new courses are a variety of regular, honors and advanced placement (AP) classes across all departments. Many of the courses added are elective classes granting students more options to choose from.

There are two new AP courses that have been approved: AP African American Studies, which is an interdepartmental course and AP Seminar, which falls under Science and English. These two classes are additional options for students during their senior year where they have more space for classes of their interest.

Other classes that have been approved are second-year Assyrian (regular and honors) and Assyrian for Heritage Speakers, both new additions after the approval of 1st-year Assyrian last year. For Physical Welfare, there is now Advanced Dance, a one semester class where honors is also an option. This course is offered only after students take Dance Foundations. In the Fine and Applied Arts department the only new course being added is Advanced 3-D design. The majority of the new courses fall under the Engineering Computer Science and Business department which includes a one semester course on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Building Trades focusing on construction-related trades and College Business.

Out of the 23 course changes presented, the only course that was not approved was The Science of Well-Being of Teens, which fell under Student Services. This course was also not approved by the Curriculum Standards for School Improvement (CSSI) whereas the rest of the courses were all approved by the CSSI committee.

11 courses will be revised, including the Probability and Statistics class grade weight changing to an honors credit and also ALCUSH (American Literature and Composition and United States History) that is being changed to an embedded honors course where regular and honors students are mixed together. There are nine other courses that have been approved to be revised and can be checked here.

With all the new courses being added for the next school year, D219 board member Joe Nowik raised his concern about the balance of current classes and new classes.

“As a school board member of D219, I am deeply concerned about the annual addition of courses to our high school catalog without thoroughly reviewing the potential impact on the entire course structure. While expanding course offerings can be beneficial we must ensure that course selection is proposed thoroughly and with a comprehensive understanding of how these additions may affect our students, teachers, our course catalog and the overall quality of education we provide,” Nowik said.

Nowik also proposed a potential solution to sustain a more balanced course selection so that the district isn’t over-funding for courses that students are no longer interested in.

“Equally important, we should also consider the need to periodically prune certain courses that may have become outdated and less relevant to maintain a balanced and effective curriculum,” Nowik said.

Lastly, there are only two courses that will undergo a name change. The junior English class GAW (Great American Writers) will now be referred to as its official College Board given name, AP English Language and Composition. The Fine and Applied Arts class Ceramics will now be known as Ceramics + Sculpture.

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