Students Affected by Change in Science Class Sequence

Some rising sophomores who were planning on taking chemistry next year will now be taking physics earlier due to logistical issues related to freshman coming over to the high school and a change in required science classes.

The change is affecting rising sophomores who are enrolled in honors math classes for the 2018-2019 school year.

An email was sent to them, telling them to enroll in either honors or academic physics rather than chemistry, which they had planned on taking. Those who forgot to hand in the paper were automatically put in academic physics.

The rising sophomores (current 9th graders) science requirements include biology, chemistry, and physics. This is a change to prior years. Under the “old” sequence, which the rising juniors (current 10th graders) are following, science requirements are physical science, biology, and chemistry. Physics is a possible elective for those students.  

The change to replace physical science with physics as a requirement was made because it was felt that these classes were the most beneficial to students when preparing for college and career readiness, said Science Department Leader Mrs. Jean Battineri. The change also give them additional choices for their senior year as electives within the new learning academies starting next year.     

Because rising juniors are still following the old sequence, they are supposed to be taking chemistry the same school year as the rising sophomores. This meant that there were many more chemistry students for the 2018-19 school year.

“It’s what we have been calling a bubble year where we have twice the number of students taking chemistry than in previous years or years to come,” Mrs. Battinieri said.

After next year, the number of students taking chemistry will again return to normal, but a bubble year for physics will occur.

Some students feel the change is unfair and that they should have a choice in the classes they take. “Physics used to be a 12th grade optional class and now it’s a 10th grade requirement,” Freshman Mark Barone said. “Just because we take honors math courses, doesn’t mean we are going to have the same performance in a science class.”

Although the change has left many students nervous for the school year next year, some students are embracing the change.

“I think the change might end up being okay,” Ninth grader Lianne Morrell says. “As long as we are all together, we will be fine.”