By Eric Erickson
New class schedule
St. Paul Public Schools are using a block schedule of classes at every high school this year.
Students will have four classes a day that meet for 80 minutes each. Then students will have four different classes the next day for 80 minutes each.
Collectively, students attend eight classes over two days. It’s called an “8 over 2” schedule and is organized by “A” days and “B” days. Como students will also have a grade-level academic seminar that meets every day for 35 minutes.
School leaders anticipate students and staff will adapt and benefit from the new system as the schedule allows for more elective courses to meet student interests.
For example, Principles of Engineering is a new course in the science department with a focus on student collaboration, development and testing of their own engineering designs. Students will also explore engineering careers and examine ethics involved in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering.
The math department has added College Readiness Math, where students can earn credit for Algebra 2 by applying concepts to solve real world problems in personal finance. Students will also acquire essential 21st century skill sets: Learning skills (critical thinking, creativity, communication) literacy skills (information, media, technology) and life skills (flexibility, leadership, initiative, productivity, social skills.)
The Academy of Finance has a new class open to all Como students that explores, examines and develops Social Media Marketing.
Several of the new elective courses this year are in social studies, including AP Psychology, Indigenous Studies, and Street Law. Founded in 1972, Street Law is a global program that teaches practically relevant law to student populations using interactive lessons.
Across the St. Paul Public School District, sophomores are taking a required semester-long course in Critical Ethnic Studies (CES). Last fall CES was piloted at three St. Paul high schools, including Como Park. Former ELA teacher Chong Yang taught and helped develop curriculum for the course.
Homecoming Oct. 1
Spirit Week at Como has been set for the last week of September, culminating with a Cougar homecoming tripleheader on Saturday, October 1.
The Como girls’ soccer team will host St. Croix Prep at 10 a.m. The football team will face Highland Park at 1 p.m. followed by the boys’ soccer team versus Minneapolis Edison at 4 p.m.
Eric Erickson is a social studies teacher at Como Park Senior High School and a regular contributor to the Bugle.