What it takes to get new classes


Wyatt Price

Carlmont’s instructional vice principal Jennifer Lang, at work in Carlmont. Lang has over 32 years of teaching experience and 14 years of experience with school accreditation giving her the knowledge and experience to execute many tasks including creating and removing courses from Carlmont’s curriculum.

Carlmont students who want to apply for courses that they are passionate about but are not at Carlmont can have the courses provided at Carlmont if they go through various approval steps.

Some students feel that although Carlmont provides many courses, other courses would get them closer to their dream career that Carlmont doesn’t offer.

“My dream career would be an aerospace engineer or computer scientist. I would like it if our school offered AP Physics 1 and 2 because it would help me become an aerospace engineer. Also, it would be helpful instead of just having us go directly into the hardest science class at the school,” Carlmont sophomore Yunosuke Nakamura said.

Getting a course approved by the district, finding enough students willing to take the course, and finding a teacher with the correct credentials are some of the many requirements to get a new class approved at Carlmont, according to the Carlmont instructional vice principal, Jennifer Lang.

Courses provided at Carlmont must be part of a career technical education pathway (CTE), math, science, English, history, or otherwise required class in Carlmont’s curriculum. However, those aren’t the only requirements for Carlmont to offer a class, as student desire is crucial.

“There must be sufficient student interest in the class because each class needs at least 25-30 students for implementation at Carlmont,” Lang said.

Though some Carlmont students may wish for new classes, others are content with their current courses.

“At the moment, I do not know what specific job I would want, but I would like to do something in the STEM field. There are no other classes that I would want to take to help me get a career in the stem field, but that could change in the future,” said Carlmont sophomore Owen Tang.

Not all the complications of implementing a new class are financial or student interest. Another critical issue is finding a teacher with the extra time to teach another class.

“To get a new class, I need to get the district’s permission, then get approval from the college board for the class. Then I need to get permission from the teacher’s union and the teacher if the teacher is already teaching five courses to have then the teacher teach six courses,” Lang said.

The newest class added to Carlmont’s curriculum is AP world history, for the 2022 to 2023 school year, because of California’s new ethnic studies class requirement.

“To get a teacher to teach the new class, the teacher must be trained in that specific subject and have an available period. I then need to find a teacher with proper credentials and training. Finally, the school needs to pay for class materials like pens, paper, markers, whiteboards, and textbooks,” Lang said.