Lancer Spotlight 1/27/23: Next year’s registration includes controversial new course requirements


Keira Knedeisen

Linganore science teacher Mark Sunklel helps parents and students by answering questions regarding science classes available in the upcoming school year.

by Keira Knedeisen, Reporter

On January 25, Linganore High School (LHS) held its annual Registration Night for incoming freshman and current students. This event was intended to help answer questions about course options and guide students in selecting classes to sign up for in the next school year.

Teachers from all departments and content areas attended, answering questions and helping different students to identify course options and pathways for fulfilling graduation requirements.

One of those graduation requirements is a new half-credit health course recently implemented for students to complete in their junior year. This applies to incoming high school students as well as the Classes of 2025 and 2026.

This requirement has been the cause of some controversy among teachers and students. Many freshmen took what they believed to be their final health and gym credits to get them out of the way. Their expectation was that they would never have to take those classes again.

With health classes presumably behind them, some students believed they could begin to focus on their future career paths and corresponding classes.

The new health course requirement is seen by some as preventing continuous progression in their desired field.

“I was annoyed because it was taking up a class [option on the registration form], and I didn’t feel it was necessary,” sophomore Mattingly Breck said.

Although this class may be beneficial to students pursuing careers in the medical field, Linganore teachers maintain that the class is useful for all students, despite how repetitive or tiresome some students believe the curriculum to be. 

“Health is repetitive. You literally do health everyday … [this is] information that they need everyday. I tell my health kids that this is the most important class you’ll ever take,” physical education teacher Andrea Poffinberger said. 

With their background, Linganore’s health and physical education teachers are most likely to take up the position of instructing the new class, helping both themselves and the students enrolled in their classes.

“It helps to secure our jobs and is a required class, meaning more kids will filter through the PE and health area,” physical education teacher Christina Moats said. 

In addition, the new health class will only take up a term of learning. The half-credit class is being paired with another half-credit, one term course. However, the options for courses to pair with this required health class are limited.

According to the registration sheet and student knowledge, the three classes available to fulfill the other half-credit required are SAT prep, film study and team sports.

For some, these options only make the required class seem more unnecessary, as they do not help to contribute to students’ preferred learning paths. And, the semblance of choice is received as another requirement. 

Multiple Linganore teachers such as Julie Morris, Mark Sunkel and Aaron Burch discussed potential half-credit classes related to content areas such as science, computer technology and history that could be offered alongside the required half-credit health class.

However, these hypothetical classes are still being developed and brainstormed and not yet implemented as concrete course options.

This means the Class of 2025, who is taking this junior health credit in the upcoming school year, will not have the benefit of additional course options and will have little flexibility in what they choose to pair with the new health requirement. 

Registration forms for all rising sophomores and juniors are due Wednesday, February 1 and need to be turned in to PREP teachers. Multiple resources are available to provide guidance on the best class choices for each student.

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