By EMILY WALOS
To try and ease the thought of transition from middle to high school, Citrus Valley High School held a parent informational and elective meeting night for the parents and students of the class of 2023 on April 5. This event allowed students and their parents or guardians to visit the high school campus and attend an informational meeting followed by rotations of elective presentations.
In the meeting, the students and their parents were informed about multiple changes that will be implemented in the 2019-20 school year for freshmen, such as schedules, registration and new applications that the incoming freshmen will face their first year in high school.
Previous Redlands high school parents were shocked as many of the freshman requirements and restrictions have been altered. Currently, all high schoolers must have a semester-long health class in order to graduate, with many taking the class their first year. However, starting in the 2019-2020 school year the class will no longer be taught as a separate class, but integrated into the students’ Physical Education period.
Health class being deleted has freed up one period in their schedule, so, as a replacement, the students are able to choose a “freshman elective,” with some options being a career pathway class, STEM class, computer applications class, a year-long geography class (in previous years geography was Health’s partner as one would be the first semester and the other would replace it the next) and an elective that requires an application or audition, such as yearbook or intermediate theater. This was all discussed by head counselor Diana Farley.
However, Sierra Alexi, a freshman at Citrus Valley who is currently taking health, says, “I really don’t feel like PE will do a good enough job about going in-depth into everything you need to know about health. You need more time to go into every aspect like drugs, alcohol, physical fitness, pregnancy and STDs, and all that you really can’t learn that in a few weeks in PE and it’s taking away from your physical education. You need health and PE, so I believe they should continue to be separate.”
Not only will the incoming freshmen be able to take these new electives but also advanced students can take a sophomore World History class. Currently, 9th graders are not allowed to take a history class; however, they are given the option of World History or AP European History in 10th grade. The counselors do not fully recommend the history class as it is a more advanced class designed for sophomores, and they will allow it only if the student is capable (based on previous GPA).
With a current Sophomore enrolled at Citrus and an 8th grader looking to attend the school next year, parent Niza DiCarlo is no stranger to high school requirements. She said the most helpful thing of the night was “the introductory session in the theater. It gave a really good overview of all of the requirements for the next four years. There was a lot of information during the first part, I mean it was all good, but in the theater we learned a lot.”
After the meeting, the parents and students were able to go to three rotations of electives. There they could visit three different electives, including sports. At each rotation, the teacher of the class gave a quick informational presentation on what the elective is, does and requires. Most of the elective presentations took place in the classrooms they are taught in, with all the sports located in the gym. These quick meetings allowed for students to find out what elective they might want to take in their high school career and for the parents to learn what their child would be doing when they are not in their core classes.
Nothing can take all the nerves of the transition from middle school to high school away, but being prepared with some objectives, like classes, and knowing what electives are offered can help the process. Citrus Valley strived to achieve this at their 2019-20 parent night.