High school electives aim to prepare students for college

Sep 21, 2017

Woodworking, ceramics, video production and astronomy are just a few of the electives offered by Wareham High School, Principal Scott Palladino said in his report to the Wareham School Committee on Wednesday, where he detailed what the high school is doing to get students ready for college.

Electives are one of the students’ favorite parts of high school, Palladino said, so the school has been working hard to implement as many as possible. Other electives include culinary arts, film study, careers in childcare, forensic science, graphic design and animation. Zoology is one of the most popular electives, Palladino said.

Students are required to have a semester of SAT preparation in their junior year and a full year of business and art. Other than that, they have their pick of an extensive list of electives.

“This really excites the students,” Palladino said. “When they come into high school, they can dictate the kind of classes they’re going to take.”

Many electives have an after-school component. The AP environmental science class cleaned up Main Street last weekend as a hands-on project.

“These courses, like athletics for some kids, are what kids are excited about,” Palladino said. “It’s a carrot at the end of a stick.”

Palladino said he hopes to build up more programs so students can take the same elective for multiple years. There are four levels of woodworking, art, culinary arts and journalism, for example, but Palladino would like to see more programs expanded so students can study a specific topic every year of high school.

Eighth grade students have the opportunity to shadow high school freshmen for a day to see what electives might appeal to them and what the expectations are in the classroom.

To further prepare students for college, there is a dual enrollment program for eighth graders with the high school and for 10th and 12th graders with Bridgewater State University. The high school also offers eight AP classes and distance learning classes, which prepare them for online education in college, Palladino said.