As the leaves begin to change color and the alarm clocks blare, a new year at CHS begins, bringing another year of groggy mornings and cramming for tests we’re not prepared for. This school year brings with it an exciting list of changes for prior students, as well as feelings of nostalgia for the old ways the school used to be (I’m currently working to accept the death of Intro to Computer Science). But as we start to get settled into the school year, I feel it is important to list some of the newest additions and changes to CHS this year.
I’ll begin with one of the new electives added this year (and one I’m currently taking), Talking the Talk: Effective Presentation Skills. Taught by either Ms. Russo or Ms. McCabe, the class centers around communication skills, whether that be learning about the chemicals in your brain while speaking with a peer or the intricacies of forming a stimulating conversation in the modern age. The class is split into three units, conducting an interview, storytelling, and performing your own TED TALK. The class provides interesting and thoughtful discussions on a variety of issues and is recommended to those looking for a unique class experience.
These next two electives represent the large scale changes occurring in the Technology department, with both Intro to Computer Science 1 and 2 being replaced this year (though Intro to Computer Science 2 is still being offered this year to those who took Intro to Computer Science 1 last year). They are being replaced by Game Design with Python and Programming with Java. Both classes are taught by Mr. Hajdu, and Game Design with Python gives students an introduction to the world of computer programming through the coding language Python. The course then evolves into slightly more complicated topics, culminating in a final project where students create their own video games using Python. Programming with Java goes into even more detail into the world of Computer Science, with more complicated topics such as importing Java libraries and increasing the flow and complexity of student-created programs, leading to students creating an application designed to solve a real-world problem.
The new American Sign Language class taught by Mrs. Policelli teaches students the core components of engaging in conversation, as well as important concepts and ideas of American Sign Language. The class also discusses the lives and culture of those who are Deaf. In contrasting the lives of those who are deaf with our own, all the students learn as much in an ASL class as in any other language class.
After what seemed like an endless wait, the auditorium is finally, after nearly a year of tireless work, almost completed. While it still smells (though I prefer the term reeks) of new paint, the auditorium is finally ready, as long as you don’t feel the need for seats. No longer will CHS shows and performances be held in the middle school auditorium.
The final change, the one that is probably the biggest change from last year, is the grading periods being changed from quarters to semesters. While a major aesthetic difference, very little will probably end up being changed. There may be a different scheduling of cumulatives, but only time will tell the full effects of the grading changes.
2018-2019 is gearing up to be a fantastic school year full of changes, and it looks like it is for the better. Get excited, CHS students!