La Plata High School gains at least one new class every year and is sometimes forced to drop a class, or a few. The classes chosen for this process depend on the amount of students that sign up for the classes when they receive their course selection sheets in the third quarter. Students are not informed which classes will be added or dropped until the following school year. “The classes added and removed all depend on the amount of students that have signed up to take the class and the availability of our school to have that class,” said Mrs. Sharon Bautista, student data accounting clerk at La Plata.
Another problem schools have to deal with each year is hiring and replacing teachers. “Depending on the amount of students wanting to take a class, how many students there are in a grade and how many teachers we need for a subject,” said Mr. Michael Larson, a vice principal at La Plata, when asked about how the school determines the which classes stay ad which classes go. When teachers take a year off, such as Spanish teacher, Mrs. Rosa Hance, who took a year off due to the birth of her daughter, they typically end up being replaced, depending on the demand for that position.
There will be more CSM courses and additions to old ones this coming school year. One of these changes will be as expanding the course to two semesters to increase the credits students receive. There will also be two classes per semester so there will be more topics for students to choose from and learn, via telepresence.
A few other options that can be taken are completer courses such as the Teacher Academy of Maryland program and the Project Lead the Way program. The TAM program has four courses, Human Growth & Development, Teaching as a Profession, Curriculum, and Education Academy of Maryland. The program also offers an exclusive internship, which can be done at La Plata, Mary H. Matula Elementary School, or the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center. The internship allows you to teach students and gain valuable in-field experience throughout the year. If you desire more information, contact Mrs. Shawn Starcher in H703.
The PLTW Program appeals to students with an interest in engineering or medical sciences and offers two different paths; the engineering program and the BioMed program. The engineering program appeals to students who have interest in becoming an engineer of any sort and has five courses; Intro to Engineering, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, Civil Engineering and Architecture, and Engineering Design and Development. The BioMed program serves as an intro to medicine for students who desire a career in a medical field and has four courses; Principles of Biomedical Science, Human Body Systems, Biomedical Intervention, and Biomedical Innovations. Both programs in PLTW require a lot of work, but offer grand amounts of experience and offer intros to careers that many students desire. If you desire more information of the engineering program, contact Mr. Garrick Baker in [Room Number]. If you desire more information on the BioMed program, contact Ms. Courtney Becker in [Room Number]
There are additional completer courses such as; HVAC, Horticultural Services, In teractive Media, Pharmacy Technician, exclusive to juniors and seniors offered at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center. Stethem offers these alternative programs for students that are interested in more than what La Plata has to offer. They have supplies and areas fit for each program. The Stethem programs require students to take a half day so they can still finish all of their required credits at La Plata. Juniors take their Stethem classes at the beginning of the day, first through fourth period, whereas seniors take their Stethem classes at the end of the day, fourth through seventh.