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The Spectrum

The student news site of Dartmouth High School

The Spectrum

The student news site of Dartmouth High School

The Spectrum

What is New in the ’24-’25 Program of Studies?

Wolf Larsen

As of January 18, course selection for next academic year opened. As is true in most years, this year’s program of studies features changes in most departments. 

If you think about it, these changes often shake up students’ four year academic plans or even alter graduation requirements. So if these changes are as disruptive as they seem, why are they made at all? Well, each year the superintendent, the school committee, and the administrative team at Bush Street works collaboratively to develop a program of studies that is up to date with state requirements and puts DHS graduates in the best position for the future.

In fact just in the last year a whole new department was created called the Business, Innovation, and Technology department. A department created to give students a more competitive advantage by providing exposure to both business and technology curriculum.

So with all that being said, you are probably wondering what changes were made to the program of studies this year? Below is a general overview of the amended 2024-2025 program of studies.

Class of 2028 Graduation Requirements 

As mentioned before, graduation requirements are sometimes adapted to give students a competitive advantage in the future. In the case of the Class of 2028 and beyond, high school course work at DHS is going to look a little different. 

The most notable new requirement is that all students are now required to take a Civics and Digital Literacy course.

The most notable new requirement is that all students are now required to take a Civics and Digital Literacy course.

The Civics and Digital Literacy course is designed to educate students about social media and its influence. In addition to promoting students ability to engage in civics-based conversations especially with those of an opposing view, the course finishes with a civics project where students will have to come up with a problem in their school, local, or state communities and raise awareness for that issue. 

This is the only direct change to the Class of 2028 graduation requirements. All of the following changes are only interdepartmental and do not specifically alter any future classes graduation requirements.

English Department: AP Capstone Path and Pre AP-English

The English Department for the 2024-2025 school year looks relatively the same with just a few tweaks.

The AP Capstone Program is a diploma program created by the College Board that is designed to provide students with valuable research and presentation skills. To earn a Capstone Diploma, students are required to pass a total of six AP’s during their time in high school with two of those courses being AP Seminar and AP Research. 

DHS previously allowed students to take AP Seminar sophomore or junior year and AP Research junior or senior year. However, starting with the  2024-2025 school year, students will not be able to start the Capstone pathway junior year as AP Seminar is now only offered to sophomores. 

Another adjustment to the English Department for the 2024-2025 school year is with the Pre-AP English 1 course. The course was first offered to incoming freshmen this year; however, feedback from teachers and a review of the course content has prompted the department to offer Pre-AP English 2 instead. 

Why the change? Teachers and the department concluded that the Pre-Ap English 1 course is not rigorous enough in terms of content difficulty and so Pre-AP English 2 is being offered to better suit high school students’ academic level.

Business, Innovation, and Technology (BIT)

This reimagined approach to the computer science, business, and media production departments was originally rolled out to the Class of 2027 this past year. The new department grouped together the three above areas due to each area’s unique and complex intertwining with one another in an increasingly digitized world. 

The department now requires this year’s freshmen and all future students to take 1.5 credits worth of computer science, business, or media production courses. This addition takes away the 1 credit computer science requirement of the past for freshmen and future students but does not apply to sophomores, juniors, or seniors.

So to conclude, while there are some other minor tweaks to other areas, above are the major adjustments and changes to the course offerings for the next academic year.

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    E.R.Feb 7, 2024 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks for this informative article! The Civics and Digital Literacy course is very exciting. Hopefully it’s taught well by a teacher who’s passionate about the topic.

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