How awesome would it be if you could study more about what you love and get credit for it? That’s exactly what our school thought. The school made a new program called: Concentrations.
Students Charlotte Steen and Jamie Kim are excited to go to school this year because they know what to specifically focus on with their studies. Charlotte can focus more on the language arts in her classes and Jamie can focus on the social studies in her classes. Why is this? It is because our school has started a new program called Concentrations.
ECHS Concentrations are a way for students to demonstrate high academic success and passion for a particular field of study. Students may choose a Concentration after their freshman year in high school. If they complete enough electives (with a grade of 80% or higher) and approved co-curricular activities (validated participation) within their chosen field, their transcript will reflect their success within the concentration. Concentrations are a good way to do what you like and get credit for it. The current Concentrations have 2 categories. In the Humanities category there are Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts, and Performing Arts. In the Steam category there are Computer Science and Technology, Life and Physical Science and Mathematics.
Students have differing opinions about this idea. Charlotte says she likes this and hopes to stay with this. “It’s optional and it can help me with English/LA.” On the other hand, Jamie wants to go back to the old Humanities Program. “I want to go back because it’s really hard when you don’t have English and history together because they’re so intertwined.” This is fairly new to teachers as well as students so it will probably take time for everyone to get adjusted to this. The Concentrations are going to be an ongoing program, possibly adding more concentrations.
Each concentration provides extra classes for the area you are interested in and gets put into your transcript. Concentrations are a good way to commit to something you like and work hard at it. It is also good because you can’t only take classes for your concentration. You still have to work hard in other classes. So Concentrations are a good balance between doing what you want and doing more of it while getting the required classes done. It’s also a good way to get used to committing to something at an earlier age because you will definitely need that skill when you’re older and in the world.
Concentrations are available to anyone and everyone, unlike Humanities. You can get an amazing record on your transcript without being in Humanities. For example, if you are doing visual arts, the college you want to apply to is specifically going to look at your art classes. Seeing that you have done many different art classes, it can give you a higher chance of getting in. Also, with concentrations you don’t have to choose one right when you become a freshman. “High school is all about finding your passion, not committing,” says Principal David Intlekofer. Unless you have a set future and passion you don’t have to choose one until junior or senior year.
Concentrations are there to help you reach your goal and there is no pressure involved with it because it is your choice, but it is always going to be there.