West Park High School expands course selection to meet demands of student body

Logan Hearney, '23

When it comes to choosing electives, students at West Park High School have had mixed feelings in the past. While some students have found the course selection lacking, others believe that recent changes have improved the options available to them. With input from students, West Park High School has made strides in expanding their elective offerings to better align with students’ interests and future career aspirations.

One area where students have been vocal about their desires for more electives is in the culinary arts. Harrison Sasser, a senior at West Park High School, expressed his enthusiasm for culinary classes, stating, “I’ve always loved cooking and baking, and I know many of my peers are interested in learning more about culinary arts. Having culinary classes as an elective would provide an opportunity for students to explore their passion for cooking and potentially pursue a career in the culinary industry.”

In addition to culinary arts, students have also shown a strong interest in AP Human Geography. This college-level course provides an in-depth study of the world’s human population, cultures, and geography. It offers students a unique perspective on global issues and challenges, and prepares them for advanced coursework in social sciences. Students like Junior Ryan SIsson believe that offering AP Human Geography as an elective would provide a challenging and engaging learning experience for students interested in social sciences and global affairs. He says, “More AP classes in the social sciences department are what I’d love to see. Being here for 3 years now I think West Park needs to offer more AP classes in general, but the social sciences are especially lacking when compared to schools like Woodcreek and Oakmont.”

Another area where students are eager for more elective options is in child development courses. Many students have expressed an interest in learning about child care, early childhood education, and child psychology. Caleb Peck, a sophomore at West Park says that these courses can provide valuable knowledge and skills for those interested in pursuing careers in education, social work, or other fields related to child development. By offering child development courses as electives, West Park High School can provide students with an opportunity to explore their interests and gain valuable insights into the world of child care and early childhood education.

Furthermore, students at West Park High School have recognized the value of Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and Biomedical Science (Biomed) classes. Caleb Peck mentioned that these classes are great for students interested in engineering or medical field jobs. PLTW and Biomed classes offer hands-on, real-world experiences that expose students to the fields of engineering, biotechnology, and healthcare. These courses can ignite students’ passions and provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary for future career success.

Overall, a diverse and comprehensive selection of elective courses is crucial in guiding students toward possible career paths they may pursue. West Park High School has listened to student feedback and has taken steps to improve their elective offerings. By offering culinary arts, AP Human Geography, child development courses, and other career-focused classes such as PLTW and Biomed, West Park High School is providing students with opportunities to explore their interests and passions, and helping them to make informed decisions about their future career paths.

With the expansion of elective options, students at West Park High School now have a wider range of choices that align with their interests, aptitudes, and aspirations. These elective courses not only offer academic enrichment, but also provide practical skills and knowledge that can benefit students in their future careers. Students like Harrison, Ryan, and Caleb are excited about the changes and believe that the improved elective offerings will better prepare them for their future endeavors.

As West Park High School continues to evolve and adapt to the needs and desires of its students, it is evident that the school is committed to providing a well-rounded education that prepares students for success beyond high school. By offering a variety of elective courses, West Park High School is helping students explore their passions, develop new skills, and chart their paths towards fulfilling and rewarding careers.