Wilmington High School Compared Its Course Offerings To 30 Other Area High Schools And Here Is What Was Found…

WILMINGTON, MA — This past October, Wilmington High School educators conducted an evaluation of its program of studies — comparing WHS to approximately 30 high schools in the area.

Last month, WHS Principal Linda Peters and her departments made a presentation summarizing their evaluation’s findings, highlighting key differences between Wilmington’s course offerings and those of their counterparts.

The findings include:

  • Most districts offer multiple Computer Programming and Computer Science courses in the Math Department. Wilmington does not.
  • Wilmington is 1 of just 2 districts that has 2 distinct paths for 9th grade students in Science. In Wilmington, freshmen choose Honors Biology or College Prep Physical Science. In 19 other schools, for example, freshmen must take Biology. In 6 other schools, freshmen must take Physical Science/Conceptual Physics.
  • Wilmington is unique in its Social Studies offerings because it takes a “global approach” with its multiple “US History From A Global Perspective” courses. The other schools offer US History and World History separately.
  • Wilmington is 1 of the few districts that currently does NOT have a foreign language graduation requirement.
  • Wilmington typically offers 3 languages (French, Spanish & Italian) while most of the other high schools offer at least 4.
  • Wilmington’s Business, Family & Consumer Science department doesn’t focus on career and tech pathways as much as others. The school does not, for example, offer classes to attain Google and Microsoft certifications.
  • Almost all schools have AP 2D Design and AP 3D Design courses, but those are NOT offered by Wilmington’s Virtual Arts Department.
  • The average number of Performing Arts electives offered by reviewed schools was 15. Wilmington offers 8 such electives. Offering more electives would be reliant on an increase in department staffing (currently shared between multiple schools) and space with the current system of block scheduling.
  • Most schools (22 of 29) have some sort of Fine & Performing Arts graduation requirement. Wilmington does not have.
  • Other districts’ Physical Education/Health Department course offerings run the gamut. Some schools have specified PE course options (e.g., Yoga, Skating, Swimming). Some schools offer PE alternatives. Some schools offer varsity sports as an elective way to fulfill one semester of the graduation requirement. In Wilmington, students get 4 years (1 semester per year) of Health Dynamics, whereas — in some schools — it’s required for Grades 9 & 10, but an elective for Grades 11 & 12.

The conversation will continue at the next Wilmington School Committee Meeting on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, when Ms. Peters and the department heads return to make proposals to change the high school’s program of studies.

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