Anzar students get alternative to chemistry

Christian Aguirre, Yulissa Avalos Solis, and Rheyvan Avila-Lazaro applaud the senior advisors as they deliver their speeches during the Anzar High School graduation ceremony Thursday.

Students at Anzar High School might have a way to skip the most math-intensive science course in high school.
Campus leaders may be adding statistics and a physics-chemistry combination class to the site’s list of graduation-approved courses as early as next school year.
The proposed science course is meant to allow students to take the subject for three or four years without ever taking chemistry, which is a math-dependent course, according to an agenda report.
Principal Charlene McKowen and several teachers presented the idea to Aromas-San Juan Unified School District trustees last week for discussion.
“We’re proposing two new classes that are (University of California) approved,” McKowen said.
The proposed Integrated Science III and Statistics courses would meet the A-G requirements needed for students to attend public California State University of University of California schools. Students can graduate from high school without meeting the A-G requirements, but students at Anzar are required to meet the higher standards to get their diplomas.
The district’s costs for the changes would be minimal since existing teachers would teach the courses and textbooks—if they were needed—would come from the campus funds, Anzar staff officials said.
 “Right now, they’re entering chemistry and they’re falling out,” said Superintendent Ruben Zepeda.
The science class attracted considerable discussion from Trustee Jeff Hancock, who asked how physics and chemistry could fold into one year. Hancock also asked whether the course would be rigorous enough to fit the A-G requirements for chemistry and physics separately.
The school offered statistics classes before when it was in its third and fourth year of existence, said McKowen.
“It was very exciting and my own son took statistics and he thought it was the most applicable math he ever took,” she said.

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