Wheeling Park High School Wants To Revamp Writing Curriculum – Wheeling Intelligencer

Wheeling Park High School Wants To Revamp Writing Curriculum – Wheeling Intelligencer

Photo by Joselyn King – Wheeling Park High School Associate Principal Adrienne Richards, left, Principal Meredith Dailer, and Michael Romick, chairman of the WPHS language arts department, discuss adding more writing class options for students at the Ohio County Board of Education meeting this week.

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WHEELING — Wheeling Park High School administrators believe new writing-based classes in journalism, graphic novels, fantasy fiction and film studies might help to ignite students’ literary interests.

Presently one half-credit of composition or technical writing is required at the school, but those class offerings are being eliminated in favor of fare seemingly more exciting to students, according to Principal Meredith Dailer.

Dailer, Associate Principal Adrienne Richards, and Michael Romick, chairman of the WPHS language arts department, presented their transition plan to Ohio County Board of Education members this week.

This spring, the class of 2025 will be able to pre-register to take journalism as an elective beginning in the fall of 2022. Teaching schedules will be reconstructed to address the change.

The classes of 2023 and 2024 still will be required to take composition class.

WPHS next will begin to offer other “high interest” writing electives in the fall of 2023. Students were surveyed on what types of writing classes most caught their attention. Among these were writing classes focusing on film studies, graphic novels, gothic and horror stories and fantasy fiction.

Once electives are in place, the composition component will be eliminated, according to Dailer.

WPHS students are required to have a total of 24 language arts credits to graduate — two more than the state recommendation, she said. The half-credit composition class is counted among the requirements.

“We are not asking to change the total credits a student has to have — just that the half credit is no longer specified as composition, and that the student can take it as an elective they find more interesting and compelling,” Dailer said.

She said the language arts department has been discussing the move for some time.

Romick said in the past English classes largely were geared toward reading and literature, but this didn’t prepare students for writing assignments they would get in college. This resulted in the half-credit requirement for composition or technical writing.

But as instruction has evolved in all areas at WPHS, writing requirements were built into most classes, he said.

This made for repetition as students are now “writing all the time,” the educators said.

Educational research also shows that students acquire better writing skills when composition is taught as part of literature studies, and not when it is a separate exercise, according to Romick.

High-interest writing classes really are needed at the high school, he explained.

At present, the school doesn’t have a school newspaper. Romick said students in journalism classes would write stories that could be published as part of an on-line newspaper, and that this might spark students to want to further pursue that interest.

Building a journalism department is a goal for the school, Dailer said.

“If we free up teachers who are teaching composition, we can then begin to offer …….

Source: https://www.theintelligencer.net/news/top-headlines/2021/12/wheeling-park-high-school-wants-to-revamp-writing-curriculum/

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