Senior English Classes Rebooted for 2021-22

English requirements in Rapid City have changed for next year’s seniors.

By Naomi Rehberg and Peyton Bagley

Seniors in Rapid City Area Schools will have new English requirements beginning next school year. Seniors will be required to take a year long English 12 course or one semester of “business and technical writing” and one semester of “fiction and nonfiction.” Previously, the option of a typical English 12 class did not exist.

“I am missing out on a class that I have wanted to take,” said Sara Smith, a current junior preparing for pre-registration at Central High School. Prior to the upcoming change, seniors had a different set of options for their literature and writing credits. Literature class options included myth and symbol, Shakespeare, and world literature, whereas creative writing, technical writing, journalism, and senior composition were the options for seniors’ composition credit. The only class that will remain next year is journalism; however, it will count as an elective credit rather than being counted towards a senior’s English requirements.

These changes come as the Rapid City Area Schools wants more consistency due to the Pathways program that began in Fall 2020. The Pathways program was installed to help students set their career path before college with more specialized class subjects and opportunities for work experience in their desired field. The new English 12 course, whose curriculum is still being finalized, is slated to have a contemporary focus, with literature connecting to current and real-world ideas. The hope is to give students an English class that is different from the previous curriculum and focus that has been used for decades.