Manual to offer new classes during 2014-2015 school year


Amanda Tu

Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

Next year, Manual will offer several new courses to help students satisfy state requirements and develop their standardized test taking stills.

Two new math classes are being added in order to help students fulfill the four-year math graduation mandate stipulated by the Kentucky Department of Education.

Mr. Doak will teach a linear algebra class to students who have completed discrete math, which is currently the highest-level mathematics course offered at Manual.

“Linear algebra may be one of the most difficult courses of all of mathematics, but I have always wanted to challenge myself,” said Rishi Jonnala (11, MST), who will be taking the class next year. “It is great than Manual has gotten approval for this course, and I hear that Mr. Doak is a great teacher, so I’m very excited.”

Additionally, honors statistics will be offered as an option for non-MST students who do not want to take college algebra or calculus their senior years.

Manual will also offer a class solely devoted to preparation for the ACT using pre-set curriculum from Cambridge Educational Services.

“The idea for the class came about when the counseling department expressed the need for a dedicated ACT class,” said Mr. Mayes (Principal). “Next year will be a trial year to see if this kind of thing really can be done. We’re only going to be offering three sections of the course, and it will be primarily for people who have indicated that they need it.”

According to Mr. Mayes, the course will not be mandatory, but it will be strongly suggested for students who are not meeting ACT benchmarks. If there is extra room, higher-performing students will also have the opportunity to take the class.

Only a handful of high schools in the state offer a full-year test prep class. Schools on a trimester schedule often teach the course over 12 weeks and then provide another elective after the term elapses.

The teacher for this course has yet to be announced, but Mayes is looking for a faculty member who is “motivational, encouraging, and who can provide incentives.”

Many students are excited about the opportunity to improve their ACT score. “I think that the class is a great idea,” said Reetu Julakanti (10, MST). “I’m not very satisfied with my score, so it’s nice that there’s a chance for me to develop my skills in school, especially with how important the ACT is for college.”

“It’s good that they have this option in school,” added Minoru Chou (10, MST). “A lot of students can’t afford to pay for extra test prep courses.”