ELLevating Stevenson’s Curriculum

Stevenson administration creates two new courses for students: iOS App Development and Programming for Mobile Makers, Current Events ELL

Stevenson has implemented multiple new classes into the course list for students to choose from when they pick the classes they want to take each year.

Two new classes were brought into the curriculum for this school year; iOS App Development and Programming for Mobile Makers and Current Events English Language Learners (ELL) are the new additions.

“Whenever we create new classes, we really want them to help support skill development in students and allow [the students] to reach their greatest potential,” said Mark Onuscheck, Director for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.

The year-long iOS App Development and Programming for Mobile Makers class, taught by Margaret (Peggy) Hunt, meets during second and fifth period and builds mobile apps. The goal of the class is to teach students a new coding language and mobile app development.

In order to learn the new language, students in the class participate in practical learning, including watching others build apps and then creating their own apps. Stevenson encourages giving students real-life experiences rather than learning out of a textbook.

“Not only are [the students] learning a new language that has a very different product in terms of being a mobile app, they are further building those problem-solving and creative skills,” said Hunt.

The Current Events ELL course, taught by Nicole Demarakis, is not so different. In this one-semester course, students read nonfiction texts, including the Statesman, in order to better their English skills. It too includes problem-solving when the teacher and students are communicating, and creative skills when the students work on projects.

“It’s helping [students] by exposing them to language that they hear outside of a typical English classroom,” said Demarakis. “In this class we’re coming across everyday words so they’re learning different vocabulary that’s relevant to them in different subject areas.”

The new class is helpful for them to understand English better so they can adapt to the language and culture that is present here in the United States. The ELL students in the class are beginner-level English learners and take other ELL classes throughout the day, since they are not yet fluent in English.

“We can learn more English in this class,” said transfer student Leon Tsubaki ’21.

In the App Development course, students master real-world project management skills. The skills they learn in this class will assist them in the future.

Hunt said, “It’s a super valuable experience to have coming out of high school.”

Students studying English in the Current Events class will learn a language that will benefit them in America now and for the rest of their lives. Students in the Current Events class are not only learning English; they are also encountering real-world situations, just like in Hunt’s class.

“[The students are learning how to be] good citizens, responsible citizens, and aware of what’s happening in the world around them,” said Demarakis.

These traits cannot be learned elsewhere. In both classes, the students are enjoying the new courses and learning useful, unique information.

“I like this class,” Tsubaki said. “I learn a lot in this class.”

The administration that has created these new courses do their best to make classes they think the students will enjoy. They hope students will take the new classes and learn from them, which will benefit them in the long run.

“We try and build new classes that are going to help our students really explore their interests and develop their skills in inventive ways,” said Onuscheck.