School offering new courses next year


Photo by Yasmin Haq

Senior Inaya Kara works on a project with Interior Design I teacher Jacqueline Rans. Kara is in the pilot class for Interior Design II.

New courses will be offered for the 2018-2019 school year due to increasing student interest in different electives. Many electives are being offered for the first time this year as well.

One new class that will be offered in the 2018-2019 school year is Interior Design II. It will be taught by Interior Design I teacher Jacqueline Rans. Rans is piloting Interior Design II with a student who is in Interior Design I for two periods. Rans said the student works on their own projects, independent from the Interior Design I curriculum.

“I’ve worked with the interior design teacher from The Colony High School, and he’s doing the same thing,” Rans said. “He has a couple of Interior Design II students in his Interior Design I course and we kind of worked together over the summer on the curriculum. We’re both piloting it [this] spring to hopefully have a full class in the fall.”

New courses from the course description guide were added to the to course selection sheets this year. These classes include Principles of Education and Training, Human Growth and Development, Interior Design II and Practicum in Fashion Design.

“If there is sufficient student interest, as measured by the number requesting the course, and if the master schedule of classes and staffing all come together, the courses will be offered,” Career and Technology department head Diane Weaver said.

AP U.S. history teacher Travis Fitzgerald is also teaching the World after World War II elective this semester. The class focuses on mostly on the Cold War.

“[The course] is pretty open-ended,” Fitzgerald said. “Basically the world after World War II. So that could be anything; what I did is I kind of looked at what would be the most important things to get from this time period.”

Last year Fitzgerald agreed to teach the course since enough students wanted to take the class.

He said he hopes the class becomes something he will still teach in the future instead of a one-time class.

“There’s actually no official course or textbook, but there’s a lot of different things put together so I’m hoping it’s not just a one [time thing],” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t want to make all this content [and only use it once].”

Counselor Tracey Shinkle said she gives the department heads the course description guide before students select their courses, so they can choose new classes to put on the course selection sheet. While the course selection sheet is exclusive to Hebron, the course description guide is shared between all high schools and is a catalogue of all classes approved by LISD.

Once a class is put on the course selection sheet, the class will make it to the master schedule if enough students choose it and there is a teacher to teach it.

If a teacher wants to teach a course that is not listed in the description guide, they can write the curriculum for the class and get it approved for the course description guide. History teacher Leah Bouas wrote the curriculum for the African and African American History course. It is actively taught at school and available to all high schools.

“In fall of 2014 the district wanted to start including more social studies nine week electives,” Bouas said. “There were a number of us from different schools that came in and had topics to propose and lots of them got approved.”

Bouas said her class is actively taught at Hebron because of the student interest in the topic.

“In our school, there seems to be a want and a drive to learn about African and African American History,” Bouas said. “It seems to be something that students [at Hebron] are interested in. So [my class] should appear on the course selection sheet at all five high schools, but to my knowledge this is the only school where people actively sign up for it and it’s actively taught.”

Rans said the teachers want to look into offering courses students are interested in. She said if they were to put every course in the description guide on the course selection sheet, it would be interesting, but would probably dilute the amount of students in each class.

“I think that’s what the new superintendent wanted to do, he wants to put everything out there and see what makes,” Rans said. “But what’s scary about it is teachers have been teaching Nutrition for the past 10 years [and] all of a sudden nobody wants that course anymore and they want [another course] well then she/he would have to adjust to what the students want. I think that’s what the scary part is for teachers.”