FAC approves 7 new classes

Chronicle Staff

The Faculty Academic Committee approved five new classes for the Upper School and two new classes for the Middle School. All will be available for students to take next September. The upper school courses are Chinese III Honors, Advanced Placement English IV: Barriers and Bridges, Meteorology, Studies in Scientific Research (SSR) and Topics in Calculus and Statistics. The Middle School will add Introduction to Digital Photography and Chinese IA.

Both Chinese classes are the latest installments in FAC’s plan to develop a six-year course in the language, Upper School FAC Head Kent Nealis said. The language departments of both campuses plan to propose next November an eighth grade and AP Chinese course for the 2009-2010 year, Director of Studies Deborah Dowling said. Current Chinese teachers Binbin Wei and Qinru Zhou will teach Chinese I and III Honors, respectively. At present the language is only open to ninth graders and above.

This year’s change in English IV will once again require all seniors to take an AP English course, but the new class will focus on language and composition while the existing course will continue to focus on literature.

Meteorology was added as an earth science course to balance the class offerings in each scientific field, Nealis said. Science teacher Dietrich Schuhl, who proposed the course, will also be the instructor. SSR grew out of the directed study taught by Dr. Antonio Nassar, who will continue teaching the class.

“The course has become so popular that it is effectively a regular course already – we just made that official,” Dowling said.

Topics in Calculus and Statistics will also replace an already existing course – Statistics and Discrete Math. Because the modernization project may prevent the Middle School from having a darkroom next year, current photography courses will be replaced by Intro to Digital Photo to be taught by Andrew Laugel.