Expanding Minds Outside the Classroom

Next school year, there will be many new class opportunities.


Maggie McKinney

Sophomore Liesl Riffe listens to Lauren Cimpl, Class of '04, speak about her job at an insurance agency during Career Day on Jan. 16.

Kate Conway, Reporter

As the 2020-2021 school year draws near, there have been changes to the regular classes.

These new classes will give students a chance to expand their experiences outside of the four walls of the school. With the 2020-2021 course catalog, new courses offered range from added ACCP classes for precalculus and journalism to off-site classes like Designing Real World Impacts. Through these new programs, students will be working and getting real-life experiences. Beyond that, the administration has put a spin on the core classes.

“The new classes allow students more voice and choice in their learning and interests,” Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Ellen Carmody said.

The new classes allow students more voice and choice in their learning and interests.”

— Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Ellen Carmody

Designing Real World Impacts is a half-day class offered to the upcoming senior class. This class will take students off-campus and integrate them into society. Students will meet with local leaders and work to solve some of the most pressing social justice issues in Kansas City, according to Carmody. Out of the rising senior class, 14 students have an interest in taking the half-day class. The class could count for an English credit, a social studies credit or an elective credit. Junior Violet Tumlin is one of the rising seniors interested in taking Designing Real World Impacts.

 “I think that it will help me expand my mind and boundaries,” Tumlin said. “I definitely believe it will benefit the school in the long run.” 

Another new take on classes is the changes to the standardized core curriculum. Academic English IV classes are now divided into four possible one semester courses—English IV: Women’s Voices in Nonfiction, English IV: Contemporary Women Writers, English IV: Women in Leadership and English IV: Literature into Film. Students have the opportunity to choose two of the available options. This change, according to Carmody, will allow students to take a different perspective on core classes while offering the opportunity for customization to align with student interests. 

“I really enjoy how this will allow students to see, experience and solidify what makes a Sion education what it is,” Carmody said. 

Pathophysiology, which was offered two years ago, is now going to be an option again to rising juniors and seniors. Spanish for Heritage Speakers (Level 1 H) is being offered to all students whose home language is Spanish. It will help further Spanish speaking students’ speaking, reading and writing skills, according to the class description in the course catalog. 

“I am so excited to see that there are so many more diverse class options,” junior Anna McQuenny said. “I think that this will allow students to expand their education experience.”

View the 2020-2021 Course Catalog here.