Gaming and coding among 4 new electives
Art by asst. graphics editor Rachel Kim

This story was updated April 1 at 4:10 p.m. to reflect what was originally published in the print edition of the March 22 Accolade newspaper.

Students returning to Sunny Hills High School in the fall had four new electives to choose from during registration with their counselors in the last two months.

The new elective courses include gaming and coding, performing arts and production and two math options — business and finance and probability and statistics, head counselor Beth Thomson said.

“Adding these classes [to the school] will give students more options to help fulfill the students’ requests of what they want to do as far as studying toward their career options,” Thomson said.

The gaming and coding elective is the brainchild of assistant principal Craig Weinreich, who looked at career technical education pathways and came up with an elective that would be popular among students.

“We were also looking at trying to expand our computer science and coding classes, so we thought this might make a nice accommodation, especially with esports here,” Weinreich said. “We thought it might be a good path to look into as an option.”

Though the elective is pending board approval, he envisions it becoming a two-year pathway.

On the other hand, business and finance class teaches students about interest rates, balancing money and responsible use of a credit card.

“It helps students with real life things, and it incorporates algebra and things that students have already learned,” said Mariam Tan, co-chairwoman of the Math Department. “Everyone needs to know how business and finances work.”

Removing two classes — Math 20 and Advanced Algebra Trigonometry — Sunny Hills replaced them with business and finance and probability and statistics.

“There is this new thing they are starting next year where community colleges and California State universities are not requiring any students to take those lower level math classes,” Tan said. “So because they’re not forcing kids to do that, it’s not much of a requirement for us anymore [to offer them].”

Also, for next semester’s seniors who do not prefer taking calculus, Tan said they can consider signing up for probability and statistics.

“If students know they are not going to do anything in college relating to math, science or engineering, then probability and statistics is a good option,” she said.

No information is available as to who will teach these new electives, though the performing arts and production class will be part of English teacher Amanda Gieser’s theater program.

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