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Dublin High School Adding Exciting New Electives for 2017-18

March 14, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–Dublin High School is planning to expand its elective program by introducing several exciting new courses for the 2017-2018 school year. The introduction of these electives will provide students with an opportunity to explore a wide variety of fields, ranging from journalism and philosophy, to film and IT essentials. These electives were advertised to DHS students during the course selection period in February; however, the availability of these courses are subject to student interest and enrollment, which will be determined soon.

I recently reached out to the coordinators/instructors of these electives, to find out more about the topics covered, as well as the prerequisites and eligibility requirements for these courses.

Computer Support Specialist (CSS)
Coordinator: Ms. Erin Vallejo

IMG_0036Course Description: “The CSS course is an evolution of the current volunteer-based Students Working to Advance Technology (SWAT) team. SWAT members work with IT Services, Mr. Lam, and myself to complete DHS projects and to offer technology support to students and staff. Next year, the course will provide valuable (and currently missing) training time. The goal is to make the course an A-G elective option.

“As a Career Technical Education course, Computer Support Specialist (IT Essentials) introduces students to advanced applications of various programs, digital citizenship expectations, ethical implications of technology, and the practical skills demanded of information and communication technology professionals. Students will become familiar with helpdesk technician requirements, internet tools, and networking and will experience hands-on training and virtual simulation labs for PC installation, internet/wireless connectivity, network security, file and print sharing, and software installation.

“Instructors are encouraged to facilitate field trips and outside-the-classroom learning experiences by partnering with DUSD IT Services and DPIE. Students will apply training and skill development during volunteer time before/after school, during lunch, and/or during GAEL periods in the HUB or off-site.”

Eligibility and Prerequisites: “The course is available for 9-12 grade students. Other than campus and online behavior reviews, there are no prerequisites for the course.”

When it is Offered: “The course will likely be offered during 0 period a couple days a week. A 0 period course will allow those with full schedules or who are part of campus academies to still be part of the course and volunteer as a SWAT team member during the school day.”

Additional Information: “The course will aim to prepare students for completion of the CompTIA A+ Certification, which validates understanding of the most common hardware and software technologies in business and certifies the skills necessary to support complex IT infrastructures. CompTIA A+ is a powerful credential that helps IT professionals worldwide ignite their IT career. While the course will not be calculated for GPA, a note of attendance in the course and completion of CompTIA A+ Certification will be added to transcripts.”

Instructor: Mr. Bidjan Aminian

thedublinshieldCourse Description: “Journalism is all about news writing. The class will focus on creating articles for the website and for the printed copy [of The Dublin Shield, Dublin High School’s student news source]. Major topics include: writing structures (news versus editorial), using quotes effectively, interview skills, and keeping writing objective (no bias). There are also opportunities to work with InDesign and Photoshop.”

Eligibility and Prerequisites: “Any student that has an interest in writing or making their writing better is eligible for the course. [Freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to take part in the Dublin Shield club.]”

When it is Offered: “The class is likely to be offered either as a “0” period, or as a normal part of the day depending on student interest. If enough students want it as a “0” period then that is how they [the counselors] will try to schedule it.”

Additional Information: “The typical flow of class is different than many others. Because we work to produce an actual product, and events are not always consistent, some weeks there will only be a handful of students working on layout, while others are doing research or brainstorming an idea for an article. Typically 3-4 articles are expected per month (whether or not they are used). There will be quizzes and test to ensure retention of information (first amendment, basic photography, etc). Each student will usually have a role besides “writer” and they are expected to fulfill the role they’ve been awarded.”

AP Seminar
Instructor: Mr. Michael Ruegg

Course Description: “AP Seminar is the first course in the two-year AP Capstone sequence. It is intended to be a culminating experience for college bound students. AP Seminar emphasizes college level research, discourse, writing, and presenting. The specific material of the course is up to each individual AP Seminar teacher. The course we are offering at Dublin High School will focus on the Bill of Rights in modern America.”

Eligibility and Prerequisites: “Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible to take the course. If it is taken senior year, it will be a standalone elective. Students who complete it sophomore or junior year have the option to complete the AP Capstone sequence by taking AP Research the next school year. There is no prerequisite to enroll in AP Seminar; however, to enroll in AP Research, AP Seminar must have been completed.”

When it is Offered: “Zero period and throughout the regular school day.”

Additional Information: “Completing the AP Capstone sequence will earn a student the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. If a student completes the AP Capstone sequence and earns a 3 or better on four other AP exams, they will earn the AP Capstone certificate. AP Seminar is tested through College Board verified, teacher-graded projects, and an essay test during the AP testing schedule.

“I think it is also important to know that AP Research, which will be offered during the 2018-2019 school year, is a class in which students will conduct their own original research and write a short thesis.

“AP Seminar and AP Research were developed by high school teachers and college professors, so that students will be truly prepared for the rigors of university level study. I’m incredibly excited to offer AP Capstone and believe our students will benefit tremendously from the opportunity to take these courses.”

Instructor: Mr. Sheldon Dance

Course Description: “In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Socrates compares humanity to prisoners in a cave who see only shadows cast on the cave’s wall. The prisoners are ignorant of the true nature of reality, having never seen the object casting the shadows. The goal of philosophy is to break free from the cave and turn from the shadows of our unexamined existence.

“In this philosophy course, we first learn the tools of philosophical argumentation. In other words, we learn how to read, analyze, and form our own logical arguments about the nature of reality. We will then use those tools to explore a few of the questions important to the Western philosophical tradition. How do we know who we are? How do we know right from wrong? Do we have free will? Does God exist? Before coming to our own answers, we will read how other philosophers have responded to these questions. Students will be exposed to some of the greatest thinkers of Western civilization: Aristotle, Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal, John Stuart Mill, John Locke, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Bertrand Russell.”

Eligibility and Prerequisites: “The course is offered to juniors and seniors who have received a C or higher in their previous year’s English class.”

When it is Offered: “It is up to the counselors.”

Literature in Film
Coordinator: Mrs. Jennifer Angel-Diaz

Course Description: “The purpose of the course is to introduce students to major film theories as well as film terminology, enabling them to write more thoughtfully and critically. We will progress from taking notes and writing first drafts to creating polished essays and comprehensive research projects. Moving from movie reviews to theoretical and critical essays, the students will demonstrate how an analysis of a film can become more subtle and rigorous as part of the writing process.”

Eligibility and Prerequisites: “This course is open to juniors and seniors who have successfully completed English 9 & 10.”

When it is Offered: “The scheduling of classes is determined by student need [and is yet to be determined].”

Additional Information: “This elective class will allow students to explore a variety of cultures that address the major issues between film and literature since the beginning of the twentieth century. They will study the history between film and literature, from theatrical narratives of the silent film era to recent and classical blockbuster adaptations. Students will engage in class discussions of different genres and practices (such as poetry and movies or film scripts as literature) through writings by major film figures. They will study a concise, but detailed history of film and literature and the critical terms and techniques used in film and literary analysis. The class will culminate in how to write a proper screenplay. This will help encourage lifelong skills in writing both for pleasure as well as vocation.

“This class will be heavily laden with terminology and descriptions involving the art of film-making. It is not a class built around simply watching films. Students will be called upon to deeply reflect upon various elements in film-making and communicate their own ideas on a plethora of assigned topics.

“I took a course like this in college. It was challenging and I still remember much of what we studied. I am really enjoying designing the course and I can’t wait to see it in action!”

  • Ms. Erin Vallejo currently teaches English 2 Advanced and is the Technology Coordinator at Dublin High School.
  • Mr. Bidjan Aminian currently teaches English 2 and English 4 at Dublin High School.
  • Mr. Michael Ruegg currently teaches AP European History, World History, and Freshman Seminar at Dublin High School.
  • Mr. Sheldon Dance currently teaches AP English Language and Composition and English 2 at Dublin High School.
  • Ms. Jennifer Angel-Diaz currently teaches AP English Literature and Composition and Freshman Seminar, and is the Freshman Mentor Program (FMP) Coordinator at Dublin High School.
  • DHS Drama teacher Ms. Kathryn DeLapp will be teaching Musical Theater, which, like Philosophy and Literature in Film, is also awaiting UC approval.

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