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Riverhead Board of Education approves new slate of courses for … – Riverhead News Review

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By Melissa Azofeifa
Riverhead’s high school students will have a dozen new courses to pick from for the 2023-2024 school year. 
The Board of Education approved the courses at Tuesday night’s regular meeting. The decision followed presentations at the board’s January meeting from middle school principal Joseph Pesqueira, middle school assistant principal Jeannine Campbell, along with high school principal Sean O’Hara and Director of Humanities Maria Casamassa. 
“It is through these courses that our students will be empowered and will be best prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century and beyond,” said Executive Director for Secondary Education, Grants and Student Outcomes, William Galati.
Several existing course will be discontinued or modified, according to the board. For instance, the school will no longer offer journalism classes, but instead will offer a news literacy course through Stony Brook University’s accelerated college education program, which gives students the opportunity to earn college credit. 
Marine science will be modified to include marine biology, previously an entire course which will be eliminated. The new marine science class will now meet every day instead of every other day. 
Advanced placement precalculus will also be added for students at the high school. It is the newest advanced placement course offered by the College Board, the organization that administers the placement exams.
According to the agenda, the new courses being added include:
Agricultural Science 1 credit
Applications of Chemistry 1 credit
AP Precalculus 1 credit
ENL Computer Programming 1 credit
Computer Game Design 1 credit
Public Speaking one-half credit
News Literacy one-half credit
AP Seminar one-half credit
Social Studies:
Research Methods one-half credit
Fine Arts:
Advanced Guitar one-half credit 
Theater Performance and Production one-half credit
Portfolio Development in Art and Technology 1 credit
According to the presentation the courses being modified include:
Marine Science 
Basic electricity
Intro to Networking
Computer repair
Courses being removed:
Dramatic Literature
Marine Biology
Introduction to theater
Changes are coming to the middle school as well.
“Within the advisory period, students will be supported with social and emotional skills, as well as study skills, time management, organizational skills, communication skills and more to prepare students to become successful in middle school and will lead to a better high school experience,” Mr. Pesqueira said.
He also said an academic committee, comprised of administrators, middle school faculty and support staff, has been meeting every month to discuss and make decisions on proposed new courses for middle school students. He also said that middle school administration is “exploring” the implementation of an “academic wheel.”
“An elective wheel at the middle school would allow students to get 10-week experiences with four different electives throughout the year,” he said. “While logistics for a wheel complicates things a little, we are trying to find a way to make this possible so that we can provide our students with the opportunity for a larger breadth of exploratory courses prior to high school.”
Melissa Azofeifa
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