As many people do not know, before the incoming class of 2023 Third Formers arrived, the upper school required only one full art credit in order to graduate. Now the minimum requirement for incoming freshman to graduate is two full credits in Fine Arts courses and or Fine Arts Credit Activities.
Because of the pressure-filled college-admission process, the school is grandfathering this brand-new minimum requirement for art credits. If you are not aware already, students can gain two full credits through satisfactory completion of two-year-long visual art, music or theater courses, two years of choir, string orchestra, or jazz ensemble, or as an actor or crew member in a total of four of the school’s theatre productions.
The new arts requirement is gradually being grandfathered in, and at the same time, stirring some controversy over the necessity of these art credits. In addition, it is questionable if incoming freshmen, some of whom desire to take two language courses, will still be able to balance their school life.
As a Third Former, I was one of the few members of my class to take two language courses, while also participating in glee club and jazz ensemble. It was difficult to utilize my time management and maintain my academics at the same time. Incoming freshman will have the same problems.
With the addition of two sport credits and now two art credits, students who wish to take two languages will most likely find it more difficult to deal with the amount of stress and time-consuming work it takes. Many students share the same passion for learning languages and unfortunately, the new schedule will become a barrier for future students.
Taking two languages is an extremely rewarding path.
Thankfully, Mr. Stephen Cloran and other faculty are assisting the incoming freshman with seminars directed to helping them with their time management and life skills. These seminars are especially important because they teach students ways to maintain an academic and social life, which is substantially more difficult when enrolled in two languages.
From my experience so far, taking two languages is an extremely rewarding path. I hope future students will still be able to experience the joy of language and culture. Members of the Class of 2023’s enrollment in two languages after their first year will provide an early indicator of how much this new initiative restricts those who wish to take two languages.