OPINION: Resist the temptation to opt out of senior year electives

Students+working+hard+in+one+of+their+elective+courses%2C+Advanced+Art+2.

Emily Dahms

Students working hard in one of their elective courses, Advanced Art 2.

Opinions expressed in the Op/Ed section of The Knight Crier are not necessarily reflective of the views of the entire staff of the KC.

Many new opportunities come with being a senior at North Penn. Upcoming seniors are often excited about the freedom and flexibility of their schedules for their last high school year but with less requirements for courses, it leaves them the option of late arrival or early dismissal from school, sounding quite appealing to seniors who have the opportunity, but it may not be the best option.

North Penn offers a variety of choices to suit every student. With many different options varying from math, art, business, science, english, and many more options, there are a lot of creative electives for students. However, an option to miss school is easier than taking another class. This is why most students take advantage of this.

“More classes help students figure out what they want to do in college. So many kids, when you ask them in their junior year and even their senior year, they don’t know. But if they can take principles of design and then a couple extra writing classes, creative writing, or journalism, maybe even some PE classes, math classes you have a solid understanding of where you might want to go after school,” senior English elective Women’s Voices teacher, Ms. Carrie Dixon stated.

Taking creative elective classes can benefit students now and in the future. Taking most electives at North Penn is free so it can also benefit students financially so they’re not waiting until college where they pay for education. Students additionally can learn whether they like or don’t like a certain activity while they’re still young.

The benefit would be you figure out if you want to take it in college or not. In high school there’s no risk, it’s not costing you anything.”

— Ms. Carrie Dixon

“The benefit would be you figure out if you want to take it in college or not. In high school there’s no risk, it’s not costing you anything. If you are thinking maybe architecture or engineering you can take a couple classes here and we’ve got a great program with lots of good teachers… The teachers could also tell you more about the classes in college. So you’re getting two things, the curriculum and the expertise from teachers who would be able to say ‘This is what you can do with this degree’ or ‘This is what you could do with these classes,’” Dixon explained.

Having such a different range of classes helps students to get involved in different subjects and also with different people in the building.

“There’s so many courses. Then those programs like the allied health, the biotech program and the tech center being right here the kids can go over there. But it lets you meet new people too. So we’ve got all these classes. Sometimes you branch out and you end up with kids you haven’t met because there are 3,000 students in the high school. So if you’ve never taken the digital photography or creative writing class and then here you are in a creative writing class with all different personalities, you meet new friends,” Dixon expressed.

The decision to take more classes depends on everyone’s schedule and everyone has different opinions on it. However teachers especially see the impact it has on individual students everyday.

“I know students like it. It changes the culture of the building. The students who come late and leave early are your top students in the building. They’re leaving without taking these extra electives we’ve put so much time and energy in to make it interesting,” she said.

The students who come late and leave early are your top students in the building. They’re leaving without taking these extra electives we’ve put so much time and energy in to make it interesting.”

— Ms. Carrie Dixon

Students leaving earlier might also take away from clubs and after school sports. Students leaving around one o’clock might be impacted in their decision to join new activities, the thought process being ‘why would I go home just to come back to school?’ Unfortunately, that is the reality for many students.

“You take [those seniors] away and now the top five percent of your student body is gone. So the assemblies they may have organized at the end of the day they’re not there for. They’re all seniors so when you’re walking the halls at the end of the day you’re missing out on those seniors who are able to help and encourage kids,” Dixon said.

Not taking advantage of the wide abundance of courses at North Penn is overall a loss of opportunities for students that could benefit from the elective classes that make North Penn what it is. Electives benefit students and their classmates, expanding the diversity of students in each and every classroom.