Course Options: Is Morgan’s Menu Too Small?

Written by Calvin Jackson and Daniel Radka|

The classes that students choose in high school will shape their college path and possibly their career. Because of this, many students want a very wide variety of courses to choose from, Morgan students included. Some students at Morgan feel that the classes offered to them are not complete or are focused too much in certain areas. The area of focus that kept coming up: STEM. Students feel that other areas such as the social sciences and the arts are under supported.

Guidance Counselor Joni Capobianco

Science, technology, engineering, and math: these four fields are considered the most rapidly growing in today’s job market as well as in Morgan’s curriculum. Guidance Counselor Joni Capobianco said that Morgan’s focus on STEM is a top-down push based on job outlook. The Morgan School wants students to be able to find a good career once they graduate and go on to college and future employment.

Ms. Capobianco also said that she believes there is room for improvement. As it is, Morgan offers a lot of variety for a school of its size. With such a small tax base and low enrollment, it is difficult to justify adding new classes when they cannot be supported. There are other obstacles as well. If a teacher is not accredited in teaching a class, especially an AP class, they cannot offer it. Ms. Capobianco ideally thinks that there should be an even larger menu offered at Morgan.  She said, “I would love to see a more diverse offering.”

Plenty of Morgan students realize that in order to determine their interests, which could ultimately help them to think about a specific future, they should try and take a wide variety of classes. The truth is, some feel as though their interests or even their potential career subject are not represented in the selection of classes offered at The Morgan School.

Morgan Sophomore Ford Pender

For someone like Sophomore Ford Pender, the classes offered for him to take in school do not necessarily pertain to what he believes he may want to do with his life in his future. Ford loves the business world and possesses a desire to work somewhere in the field of economics. He voiced his opinion: “I would really love if they had some form of an economics program that could contain an AP economics course.” While Ford recognizes that the school offers courses within the business program that can relate, he simply feels that they just are not enough.

Some students feel that certain courses they are forced to take do not benefit them in any way. Freshman Logan Cummings believes that an example of one of these classes is Freshman Course. Logan explained, “I feel as though this course, although it has some benefits, is pointless for the most part because I did not really learn new things or useful skills that could apply in my school life.” Morgan Junior Cameron LeClaire posed an idea for a class that could replace Freshman Course.

Cameron believes that Morgan could do a better job for the underclassmen so that they can experience the diverse fields that they might want to take into consideration for the future. She explained that one idea could be having some sort of an exploration class for freshmen. Cameron said, “The course could overview a wide range of topics, maybe a different one each month. Freshmen would benefit because they might be able to develop a better plan when it comes to their future course selections.”

Sophomore Mackenzie Anderson, who wishes to go into a sect of the medical field in the future, she wishes that Morgan offered a Latin course. She said that even if it was basic Latin and not too in depth, it would still be a great benefit to many students. She explained, “It would really be helpful in the sciences and to those wishing to enter any medical fields like myself.”

Assistant Superintendant Marco Famiglietti is in charge of curriculum and instruction for Clinton Public Schools. His role is “to work with administrators and teachers to make sure we have courses at Morgan in each department that support State of Connecticut standards and requirements” and to “make sure we offer courses that meet the needs and interests of our students.” Mr. Famiglietti said that he does not think there is a concentration in STEM courses currently. He also pointed out some issues with creating a very diverse curriculum for Morgan. For small schools like Morgan, it is often difficult to have enough students enrolled in a course (If there are less than ten students enrolled, the course cannot be offered). Mr. Famiglietti expressed his openness to the improvement of the current course options: “in the future, we will continue to listen to student[s] and suggestions and balance those requests with the need to make sure that we can sustain the course with a decent sized enrollment.”

Principal Keri Hagness said that the course offering “lends itself to continual review” and that “we want to be able to think about what are some other course offerings.” Mrs. Hagness also said that even though there may seem to be a concentration in STEM and other fields, Morgan has a lot to offer if you look at its extracurriculars. For example, Morgan has a Model UN team, a political club, a Mock Trial team, and more. Mrs. Hagness wants to be able to improve the situation so that all students at school are satisfied with their options. She plans on tackling these issues next year with the Husky Leader program. “We need to look to see what other schools our size are doing,” said Mrs. Hagness. Perhaps in the coming years, Morgan might see a shift in classes offered.

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