Downey school board approves 20 new courses

DOWNEY – The Downey Board of Education last week approved 20 new college prep courses for Downey middle schools and high schools beginning with the 2016-17 school year. 

The new courses at the middle school level include: 

•Foundations of Animation
•Introduction to Culinary Arts
•American Sign Language
•Creative Digital Technology
•Math 7 with Computing
•Introduction to Law

New high school courses include: 

•Real Estate Principles
•Art: Innovation to Branding & Commercialization
•Civil Engineering & Architecture
•Computer Science Application
•Digital Electronics
•Introduction to Computer Science
•Professional Development through SkillsUSA
•Integrated Math with Computing & Robotics
•AP Physics
•Honors Engineering Physics
•Foundations of Law
•American Sign Language III
•Advanced Sports Medicine
•Video Production III

The addition of these classes follows the 2015-16 addition of 20 new “a-g” courses, as well as official UC approval of 20 already existing course offerings.

Students are considered for admission to the California State University and University of California based on three main criteria: completion of college prep classes (known as a-g classes), the grades earned in these classes, and test scores on college entrance tests. 
There are seven subjects, organized from ‘a-g’ that have to be passed in high school (earning a ‘C’ or better) to be considered for a UC or CSU campus.

The subject requirements are: History/social science (“a”) two years; English (“b”) four years; Mathematics (“c”) three years; Laboratory science (“d”) two years; Language other than English (“e”) two years; Visual and performing arts (“f”) one year; and College-preparatory elective (“g”) one year, chosen from the “a-f” courses.

“By approving these courses that provide a better understanding of current career fields, our students will be even better prepared to enter into their respective careers or continue on with their education,” said DUSD superintendent Dr. John Garcia. 

“More than being required to meet eligibility for a UC/CSU, completing these requirements prepare students for college-level work, regardless of which college they decide to attend or what field of work they choose,” added board president D. Mark Morris. “The more classes a student takes, the better prepared he/she will be, and the more globally competitive he/she will be.”