Board tentatively approves new classes. They will be offered based on student interest

Taft Union High School student will be getting some interesting new choices in the near future as the school expands its course offerings.

Among the new classes tentatively approved by the TUHS Board of Trustees on Dec. 12 night are STEM robotics, film appreciation, journalism several new music courses, both vocal and instrumental.

The classes will be offered starting in the fall semester of the 2017-18 school year based on student interest, Principal Mary Alice Finn said.

The courses were brought up for board consideration based on a survey.

Robotics will be an elective course that will require knowledge of both math and engineering and lead to construction of robots for competition.

"The curriculum leverages the "coolness" of robotics, and the excitement of head to head competition to inspire and engage students," the course outline presented to the board states. "Students will walk through the design and build a mobile robot to play a sport-like game. During this process they will learn key STEM principles, and robotics concepts. At the culmination of this class, they will compete head-to-head against their peers in the classroom, or on the stage in multi-school competitions.

The new music offerings come as the school expands its music programs in the 2017-18 school year.

Band Director Amanda Posey announced at the school's Christmas concert that Taft High will be bringing back an orchestra in the 2017-128 school year.

In addition, Choir Director Amanda Locke said the school's vocal music program is expanding as well and will be offering boys and girls choir in addition to just one mixed choir.

That will expand music offerings and Locke said this is the last year there will be a joint Christmas concert with a band and choir.

They new music course offerings include bass choir, treble choir and string orchestra. TUHS has a marching band and concert band but has not had an orchestra for years.

The addition of the modern journalism class could signal the return of the Gusher, the school newspaper.

Other course offerings include ag soils chemistry, literary studies of food culture, advanced graphic communications and intermediate art.