NEW CLASSES COMING TO WHS: New Phys Ed & Health Requirements; AP Computer Science; Service Learning Capstone

WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington School Committee unanimously approved the High School’s 2018-2019 Program Of Studies at its meeting on Wednesday after hearing a report from WHS Principal Linda Peters.

“Although we have just a few changes to the High School Program of Studies, they are significant,” began Peters.

Peters highlighted FIVE major changes:

#1) The traditional required Health and Physical Education classes for juniors and seniors will be replaced by two new courses, “Fitness for Life” and “Life-Long Health And Wellness Through Competitive Games.” The physical education component and health component will now combined into the SAME course. Students will have the choice to take one during junior year and the other during senior year.

In “Fitness for Life,” students will learn fitness through a variety of movement activities. Students will explore the five basic health-related principles (cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition) while being exposed to the latest exercise techniques. Students will use resistance machines, free weights, cardio machines, and other functional fitness equipment to improve overall health. These offering also incorporate a variety of movement activities, including dance, zumba, yoga, kickboxing, pilates, and stretching. Students will be involved in classroom, laboratory and physical activity experiences that emphasize both how and why physical fitness and wellness are important.

In “Life-Long Health And Wellness Through Competitive Games,” students will learn fitness through a variety of competitive games. Students will have the opportunity for obtaining holistic benefits which fall into three categories: physical, mental/conceptual, and social.  The main goal of these offerings are to develop well-rounded individuals, who can apply attributes of time management skills, strategies for improving skills, building a strong sense of focus, dealing with pressure, calculating risk, and taking responsibility for success and failures, to one’s life outside of sports.

“A lot of time has gone into preparing these courses,” added Peters. “The teachers are really excited about it.”

#2) A Service Learning Capstone has been added to the Business Class offerings. In this course, students will research and evaluate local, national and global charitable and humanitarian organizations. Students will also gain a greater understanding of the value of service through a variety of guest speakers plus participate in 15-20 hours of off-site volunteer activities. In conjunction with the research, guest speakers and the impact of their own volunteer experiences, students will implement and create a service project to meet a need in the community.

#3) AP Computer Science Principles has been added to the Mathematics offerings. This is the school’s first ever computer science class.

#4) AP Chemistry Lab and AP Biology Lab were deleted due to scheduling conflicts. The regular AP Chemistry and AP Biology classes remain, the Labs (worth 2.5 credits) were problematic because not all students enrolled in the courses could work the labs into their class schedule.  Media Productions I and II were also dropped due to a lack of enrollment.

#5) Guidelines related to student classroom internships were created. The intern must report to the teacher at the beginning of the start of the block. The teacher is given a list of appropriate tasks to assign to his/her intern. The intern must keep a weekly reflective journal of his/her activities. The intern may not grade assessments. The intern may not be allowed access to Aspen or any other confidential information regarding students.

Peters also noted that several of the ELA course descriptions received updates to reflect the reading materials currently being used.

In a response to a question from School Committee member Peggy Kane, Peters said there would be no change next year to the Interdisciplinary Block.

“We haven’t discussed any type of scheduling changes yet.”

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