Exciting new courses, materials coming to district high schools

When high schoolers return to class this fall — both virtually and in person — they’ll have a host of exciting new courses in front of them.

After a months-long review and approval process, we’re happy to announce two completely new high school courses and two revamped courses with new materials.

One of the new courses will focus on law and was spearheaded by former lawyer and current Spanaway Lake High School teacher Carrie Montoya.

Criminal Law & Civil Law will give students a broader understanding of the laws that have shaped our country. The new textbook, Street Law: A Course in Practical Law 2021 10th Edition (McGraw-Hill), will help guide students’ learning. The course content will focus on understanding how crimes move through the legal system. Students will be responsible for reading, researching, writing, and making logical arguments based on class materials.

The other new course next year will be 9th Grade Seminar. It will focus on themes of social justice. Using one of six new texts, students enrolled in 9th Grade Seminar will self-select social justice research topics and create their own unique projects.

There are also two returning courses that will be getting new material next year. The new course materials in Sociology and You will “explore the overarching themes represented in the Sociological Units of Inquiry and present current knowledge in the field of sociology in developmentally appropriate ways,” according to publisher McGraw Hill.

Advanced Placement Human Geography will also be using a new text. Instructional materials will explore topics such as People, Place, and Culture, as well as Visualizing Human Geography, and Human Geography in Action.

The process of adopting any new curriculum involves numerous steps and requires input from students, teachers, and administrators, before finally being approved by the School Board.

Kellie Fremont, the district’s Assistant Director Secondary Teaching and Learning, says throughout the process, the entire focus is on what’s best for our district’s students.

“Reevaluating course offerings and seeking out instructional materials is essential when providing quality educational experiences for all our students,” she said.

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