Charting A Path - Course Selection

Saturday, April 11, 2015 - By: David McCarthy

As students move through the grades at Brentwood, academic choices become more abundant and more important in determining student options after high school. In Grade 9, the choice may be limited to what language is taken. In Grade 10, there are a number of interesting electives but there remain four core courses of the six that students must take. Grade 11still requires English, a Math (Pre-calculus 11 or Foundations 12), Social Studies 11 and a science. Students can choose which of the sciences they do, whether they do one or three, and whether to opt for Advanced Placement streams or regular levels. In Grade 12, the only mandatory course is English. Even then, students can choose between English 12, Literature 12 and AP Language.

Course selection time has typically involved large scale sessions in which our post-secondary team of Mr. Rodrigues and Mrs. Coull have presented  advice to a whole grade of students at a time. This year, for the first time, students are signing up online via a website. Here they can gather all the information needed to make informed decisions about what to take and why. Frequently asked questions and an online forum where they can post their questions are just some of the features of this new approach. After looking at the course offerings, students are advised to discuss their choices with parents and advisors before coming in for interviews with the post-secondary counsellors to discuss the plan they have formulated.

Charting a path which will allow students to achieve to their potential and follow their passions is the goal of our post-secondary team and their supporting cast of advisors.

Increasingly, students are opting to take additional courses via distance learning in the summer. Typically the motivation is to ‘get ahead’ by taking a mandatory graduation subject so that they can access more advanced courses at Brentwood. In most cases we support such initiatives, particularly when the student is well able to tackle the material independently. Through a partnership with Vancouver Island University, we will also be facilitating students who wish to gain university credits while at Brentwood. This ‘dual credit’ approach allows them to simultaneously cover high school course material and extend through evening classes and online material to gain a transferable university credit. Subjects such as philosophy,  criminology, first year English and computer programming are among the enrichment choices that qualifying students will have the opportunity of enjoying.

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