The Science Department recently decided to offer Biology Honors and Chemistry Honors starting next year. The change was approved by the district Board of Trustees on Monday, January 26.
According to department coordinator Danielle Paige, the new classes will be more fast-paced than college prepatory biology and chemistry and will assign more homework.
“At this point in time what we envision is that our biology course will probably focus mainly on the standards-based content,” Paige said. “The honors-based course will address more of the SAT II subject test material.”
Parents of incoming freshmen were also informed of the decision at the eighth grade information night on Thursday, January 29. Paige has informed the school counselors so that freshmen enrolling in classes for next year are aware of the new option.
Paige believes Biology Honors will be well suited for incoming freshmen who also take Geometry Honors, with “a little bit more independent learning” than the standard class. Chemistry Honors will supplement Algebra II Honors.
According to Paige, there has been debate for years in the department on the merits of such classes. Paige mentioned specific questions regarding how the change would affect students struggling in the heterogeneous class setting.
Science teacher Greg Stoehr was opposed to the change.
“I just feel like we have a really strong curriculum as it stands, and I didn’t see a need to break it up into two classes,”Stoehr said.
Paige became department coordinator this past summer and decided to readdress the question of an honors track.
“Pretty much my whole job from August to now has been researching data and trying to find evidence for and against honors,” Paige said.
Textbooks will be the same between honors and regular classes.