New Year, New Courses


Justin Pradere

Counselor Mercedes Fowler with freshman Gabriel Nuñez deciding on the courses he will take next year.

Kristine Toraya and Emilie Santirzo

When receiving subject selection sheets for the 2017-2018 school year, TERRA students were surprised to see some changes. A new elective and math subject were added while all core and AP classes were separated between honors and honors gifted.


“I think it was a good idea for the school to make these changes as it allows for student schedules to be more personalized,” junior Michael Maza said.


Dance has been added as an elective after years of anticipating its arrival. “My friends and I always wanted there to be a dance elective at TERRA, and we’re happy to see there finally is one,” said sophomore Laura Coll.  Many students are excited to see it has become an actual option and is planning on participating in the new course. “I think it will bring diversity and allow TERRA to excel in the arts rather than just academics,” said Emerald dancer Lauren Arribas. It gives the opportunity to enjoy this art form without having to endure the commitment and rigor of being part of the TERRA Emeralds.


Probability and Statistics have been added as an honors course, in addition to the AP course currently being offered. This creates a middle ground between challenging classes, like AP Statistics and AP Calculus, and manageable classes, like Mathematics for College Readiness. “Having the option of a regular statistics class is good for students whose strong suit is not Calculus,” said junior Andrew Walter. Students now have more options to explore new math courses in accordance with their ability and skill in this subject without having to choose between two extremes.


Previously, only freshman and sophomore classes were divided into honors and honors gifted. However, beginning next year, all core classes and AP classes will be divided based off of the student’s designation. According to Principal Jose Sirven, the state of Florida provides the school with supplements for gifted students, however, these were lost with the lack of gifted classes in eleventh and twelfth grade.


“I want to get these gifted sections back to hire more teachers which would allow me to reduce class sizes,” Sirven said.  This process will open more periods of the same course allowing for more individuals to participate in popular choices like AP Psychology and AP Human Geography, for example.
The changes in course selection allow for a more diverse and individualized schedule for each person that adheres to their academic abilities and elective preferences. This can improve academic performance altogether as students will be more content and comfortable with their classes in the following year.