AGAWAM – The high school will add two Advanced Placement classes, as well as courses in arts, physical education and computer science, next year.
The Agawam School Committee approved the course of studies proposed by Agawam High School Principal James Blain at its Dec. 14 meeting. Also at the meeting, the board bade farewell to two long-serving members who chose not to run for re-election this year.
Blain said one of the new courses, AP human geography, is “the number one requested course for ninth grade, when you get to Advanced Placement.”
This course will not be limited to freshmen only, as it – like all Advanced Placement courses – is considered college-level material. Blain said it’s “exciting” to be expanding the number of AP classes at Agawam High School.
“It’s important to always look at our AP offerings because we want to make sure that all of our students are getting the courses that we believe they deserve,” he said.
The school will also offer AP psychology next year. AHS already offers a high school-level psychology course, but students have shown interest in a more challenging level. He said since the start of the pandemic, many students have become “more ingrained in habits of mind- and brain-based research.”
Blain said there are about eight students currently taking AP psychology through an online classroom.
He has an eye on adding another Advanced Placement course, in art, for the 2023-24 school year. First, he said, Agawam needs to start a second-level class, Drawing and Painting 2. That class will be taught by Amber Waters and will be a “gateway to an Advanced Placement art class the following year,” Blain said.
Fitness for Life will be the school’s third physical education offering.
“Fitness for Life should be a particularly popular one for students who want to exercise more not in the team sports, but more in a body fitness type of class,” Blain said. He said the teachers already have a curriculum ready.
One last elective joining the course schedule next year is Exploring Computer Science. Blain said a big focus for the school in the coming years will be developing its career-oriented “innovation pathways”: health care and social assistance, advanced manufacturing and engineering, and information technology. Blain said he is looking at up to four courses to be added to the IT pathway the following year, including hardware and software, Honors Network Technology, and cybersecurity and Honors Cybersecurity.
The School Committee voted unanimously in favor of the 2022-23 program of studies. For more information about innovation pathways, visit www.agawamed.org/o/ahs/page/innovation-pathways.
Bonavita, Mineo take bows
As this School Committee meeting was the last one of the 2020-21 term, Mayor William Sapelli recognized the two members that will not be returning in 2022. Carmino Mineo and Anthony Bonavita both chose not to run for re-election this year.
Sapelli thanked Mineo for his eight years of service on the School Committee and wished him luck in his future endeavors.
Sapelli also thanked Bonavita for his several years of service to the town of Agawam. Bonavita served 16 years on the School Committee and …….