The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Seniors discuss how FAFSA impacted their college application process.
Seniors reflect on FAFSA delays impact on their college application process
Alessandra Diaz, Staff Writer • April 12, 2024

The beginning of April marks the end of college application season. As seniors reflect on their experiences, one confounding factor prevents...

Go behind the scenes of this springs musical production.
Behind the Scenes of the Nightingale Theatre Company's production of The Addams Family
Tenzing Gurung and Bakhsish Kaur April 11, 2024

On Friday and Saturday, the Nightingale Theatre Company is performing The Addams Family at Townsend Harris. Watch this behind the scenes look...

As the spring season starts off members of the boys volleyball team share their hopes for the season following their first few games.
Boys Varsity Volleyball team members share their hopes for their upcoming season
Zead Husain, Staff Writer • April 10, 2024

As the spring sports season begins, the Townsend Harris Hawks hold a record of five wins and no losses. The athletes on the Townsend Harris boys...

Students assemble at the QC track to look at the solar eclipse through protective glasses.
Solar eclipse special schedule makes room for school-wide viewing event at the QC track
April 9, 2024

Watch this special report from Classic TV on how students and teachers at Townsend Harris experienced the 2024 solar eclipse. Music: "Heaven...

Some of the Girls Badminton team.
The Girls Badminton Captains share their experience of leading this season
Rica Ho, Staff Writer • April 8, 2024

The Girls Varsity Badminton team is off to a strong start this season—currently holding a 4-0 record. The new captain leading the team this...

The Henrietta Lacks event that took place on Friday, April 5th.
Photos of the Week: Open House and Henrietta Lacks Event
Katherine Lian, Multimedia Chief • April 7, 2024

Course guide for 2024-2025 released, offering new courses such as Financial Literacy, the Chemistry of Cooking, and AP African American History

The+elective+course+guide+that+all+students+received+on+Friday.
Image courtesy of Ms. Graf
The elective course guide that all students received on Friday.
HTML tutorial

On Friday, Interim Acting Assistant Principal of Guidance Jessica Graf emailed the 2024-2025 course selection guide to all students, along with the announcement that course registration for the next school year will begin on March 1. The guide introduces a number of new potential courses, including AP African American History, finance-related courses, a STEM course on cooking, new English selectives, and additions to the THHS Writers Academy.

AP African American History is making its debut at THHS, after the College Board released a revised framework for the curriculum that is set to officially launch in schools around the country this fall. This year, students in multiple states are taking a trial run version of the course. The course became a topic of national conversation after Florida banned schools from running the pilot version of the course and after the College Board later updated the curricular framework to exclude topics such as Black Lives Matter, systemic racism, and reparations.

According to the new THHS elective guide, “The major purpose of [the] course is to develop an understanding of the role and contributions of African-Americans to the growth and development of the US.”

Junior Oluwafunmilola Olayemiraji shared her view of the new course: “I think it’s a good idea and it’s a great opportunity for students to learn more about African American culture and history.” She wondered, however, if the course would generate enough interest in the student body to run.

The two finance-related courses are “Financial Literacy for All” and “Intro to Accounting/Intro to Marketing.” The first course, proposed by physical education teacher Jamal Bermudez and offered by the guidance department, aims to provide students with knowledge on how to be smart with money. The latter course, a social studies course proposed by social studies teacher Josh Krinsky and math teacher Aleeza Widman, teaches students about core business concepts and marketing techniques.

Junior Angela Bao said she liked these new courses because “they could help students learn more about… basic money control.”

She said, “Learning the basic knowledge [that these courses provide] could help students manage their own money before getting a job or going off to university.” 

The Chemistry of Cooking is the sizzling news in the science department, with numerous students expressing interest in the course to The Classic. Sophomore Elvis Chan said that he “heard that there would be a new class called the chemistry of cooking, which definitely attracted [him]. So when [he] saw it on the guide, [he knew] that’s the class [he will] definitely choose [as an] elective.”

Two new English selectives are in the guide. “Wherever You Go, There You Are” is a new English elective for rising sophomores that offers students a chance to analyze literature psychoanalytic lens with Mr. McDonaugh. For juniors, English teacher Anthony Balone is offering “Hello Cruel World,” which takes students on a literary exploration of humanity’s dark side. For all current students, the English and Art departments are offering Documentary Film Production, a class which focuses on how and why one should make documentaries, offering students the chance to make their own. This class and the psychoanalytic class are parts of the THHS Writers Academy, with the documentary course under the journalism sequence and the psychoanalytic course part of the creative writing sequence. “Hello Cruel World” is an AP English Language selective.

Sophomore Heidy Estrata said she was pleased with the options she had for next year: “I’m pretty excited with the choices we were given…I feel like I’m getting more choices since I’m becoming a junior.”

Freshman Pekko Hau said, “The electives were really interesting. There were many courses I didn’t even think a school could have like The Chemistry of Cooking. I’m looking forward to taking these courses next year and beginning to set my path to establish a career in the future.”

While many students are thrilled with the new offerings, the guide left some, particularly underclassmen, wanting more. Freshman Ethmi Uyanwatte said, “there weren’t many electives for those entering 10th grade next year, but I understood that there was probably a reason for that. It would be amazing to have specific sections for each grade in the guide. Having to sift through everything to find what I’m eligible for was kind of tedious.”

According to Ms. Graf’s email, “These are course proposals which are subject to change.” In other words, while students may be excited about certain courses, not every course will run without enough students signing up for them.

“If you are passionate about a class… try to recruit a group of interested students,” Ms. Graf wrote in the email.

The course registration process will start on March 1. On February 28 and 29, teachers will reserve class time to speak about the offerings from their departments in more depth.

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