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Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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District introduces new classes for students to select for the 2024-2025 school year

In addition to the eight new courses, five courses were also changed or renamed
By Luke Wood
Explaining a political cartoon, history teacher Angie DalBello dives deep into the artists through process in class, Thursday, Feb. 1. For the 2024-2025 school year, DalBello will be teaching History of the Holocaust, one of the eight new classes to be offered next year.
By Hailey Perrin

Next year, the school plans to offer a wide variety of new classes, including not only more classes within existing programs, like Piano II, Culinary II, Cheer or AP Spanish Literature, but also classes covering entirely new subjects, like AP African American Studies, History of the Holocaust, Essentials of Fashion, Apparel, and Interior Design (FAID) and AP Human Geography. These classes were approved by the school board at their monthly meeting Monday, Dec. 7.

The number of approved new courses for the 2024-2025 school year is also comparatively high, with only two new courses having been approved for the 2023-2024 school year. Despite this number already being higher than traditional, this list of the eight new classes does not include the renamed courses for next year, of which there are five. Information about these courses can be found on the Counseling & Services tab of the school website.

The novelty of the newly approved courses has excited both teachers and students alike. Junior Lillian Schleicher expressed why she is excited to take FAID.

“I’ve always found [fashion and design to be] interesting and I’ve always had a creative eye for that type of stuff, so I think it would be fun to take [FAID],” Schleicher said.

By Hailey Perrin

Differently from FAID, Cheer has become a class to provide the already existing cheer team with more time to practice. Despite not being an entirely new program, sophomore Sydney Epperson believes this addition to the course selection guide  is just as important as ones like FAID because of the opportunities it will provide.

“One of our specific reasons [for having it as a class] is that most schools in Kansas have it as a class and our dance team also has it as a class,” Epperson said. “So we fought for it to become a class so that we can have more practice time and more opportunities to work with the team.”

Two of the new additions to the social studies department, AP African American Studies and History of the Holocaust aim to tackle important topics that are, according to social studies teacher Angie DalBello, not covered enough in the standard social studies curriculum. DalBello explains why it was important to her to be able to teach a class on the holocaust.

“We’re one of the few schools that doesn’t have something directly related to [the holocaust],” Dalbello said. “I probably spend two weeks on it [in US History], and that’s probably more than the other US history teachers do, because it’s just something I’m passionate about.”

DalBello’s passion for the subject led her to work with principal Dr. Gail Holder to create the new course. District director of curriculum, instruction and title programs Joe Kelly explained that the actual development of the course happens almost entirely at the building level.

“The principals work with teachers to identify things like what’s the name, is it a weighted course [and] how is it all going to work in a master schedule,” Kelly said. “It’s very organic in the sense that the principal and the teachers are responsible for seeing if it fits into what they can do at the building level.”

Then, after those initial steps are complete, Kelly worked with his colleagues to review the courses and eventually proceed to getting the required school board approval.

“I, along with our curriculum coordinator, will review [new] courses to determine if it aligns with the district mission and our goals,” Kelly said. “If all those align, we’ll reach back out to the principal at each school to have a discussion about whether or not they want to proceed with the courses.”

Dalbello said not only is it something she wants to teach, it needs to be taught to our students.

By Hailey Perrin

“The increase in antisemitism right now in this country is astronomical,” DalBello said. “Even before the last couple of months, it was already on the rise. Even when you look at things like with COVID-19 and how people of Asian or Chinese descent were being discriminated against and targeted and attacked, it’s just so disheartening. So even if it’s not specifically, Jewish people, whatever someone’s background is, we just all need to be kinder, better people.”

Ava Bittner
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About the Contributors
Emma Clement, JagWire editor-in-chief, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief
This is senior Emma Clement’s third year on the JagWire staff. This year she is JagWire and Mill Valley News editor-in-chief, in addition to being a writer and designer for the newspaper. When she is not working on journalism, Emma enjoys reading, drawing, painting, watching TV shows and spending time with friends and family. She is also involved at Mill Valley as NHS president, Spanish NHS vice president, Youth for Refugees president, Model UN president, NAHS vice president and is a member of NEHS, Scholar’s Bowl and Women’s Empowerment Club. Outside of school, Emma works at Pinnacle Gymnastics as a gymnastics coach and is on the editorial board for elementia, the Johnson County Library’s teen literary magazine.
Madelyn Mulryan, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Madelyn Mulryan’s first year on the JagWire staff. She is exploring all roles for newspaper but especially writing. She enjoys reading, listening to music, spending quality time with friends and binge-watching shows. Maddie is involved in Youth for Refugees, Women’s Empowerment, Model UN and Debate. She is excited to make this year of newspaper great!
Hailey Perrin, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is junior Hailey Perrin’s second year on the JagWire staff. She is looking forward to another year of designing and some more exploring in writing and photography. Outside of the newspaper room she enjoys traveling, anything creative and photography. If she is not doing one of those things she will be with her friends having the time of her life.
Luke Wood, JagWire photo editor
This is senior Luke Wood’s third year on the JagWire newspaper staff and he will be continuing in his role of photo editor. Outside of the JagWire staff, Luke works on his cars, plays video games  and plays baseball. Other activities Luke enjoys include listening to music, welding and riding jet skis. Luke is very excited to have fun in his last year in high school.

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