how new classes are proposed at BSm

Ms.+Belanger+working+at+her+desk.

Eddie Pechman

Ms. Belanger working at her desk.

In the Spring when students register for their next year’s courses, they usually don’t consider the process that makes those courses possible. This process can be lengthy and demands a lot of work for teachers as they take into consideration all the requirements a new course must meet.

The first step in the course-creation process is the proposition of class, which can happen in various ways throughout each department. Lisa Bargas, the chair of the science department, explained in an interview how new classes generally get proposed. “It starts one of two ways: the administration wants to broaden the class selection or a teacher wants to start a new class,” Bargas said.

It starts one of two ways: the administration wants to broaden the class selection or a teacher wants to start a new class”

— Bargas

 

Once a new class is proposed, certain requirements need to be met in order for it to be approved. Katie Belanger, the chair of the English department, explained some of these requirements. “At the department meeting, the teacher proposing the course will talk through their plan and then we will discuss it as a department to see not only if there’s a need for that type of class, but if it would be infringing upon other classes that we already offer. Or if we could make room for it in the syllabus,” Belanger said.

Another aspect that needs consideration for new classes to be approved is student enrollment. Mary Seppala, the chair of the math department explained that if not enough students apply to a course, it can’t be offered. “We tried to do a class for this year that was going to be like a mixture of stats and data analysis and we had it in the program of study, but I think only five kids signed up for it, and that’s not enough to offer the class,” Seppala said.

Along with necessity and student enrollment, the amount of work teachers put into the classes they have is important to consider. Cherie Vroman, the chair of the Social Studies department, explained in an email that the more classes a teacher has, the more work they have. “…the more subjects a teacher teaches, the more classes a teacher has to prepare for, which results in more work,” Vroman said.