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January 2021

BOE Meeting Highlights MHS Elective Program

“When you ask students what they love most about Mamaroneck High School, lots of students say the electives,” Mamaroneck High School (MHS) Principal Elizabeth Clain said at the December 1, 2020 Board of Education virtual meeting, where she and Assistant Principal Mario Washington -- along with District administrators -- provided an overview of the Elective Program, which includes 45 different course options ranging from performing arts, video and photography, design, and fine arts (drawing & painting, studio art, clay), to culinary arts, architecture & engineering, computer science, science/civic research, and music. Additionally, the team discussed the process for selecting, choosing and scheduling electives and their budgetary impact.

 

MHS offers a breadth and depth of elective course offerings, providing a broad range of choices for students and opportunities for students to go deep into an area of study (in many cases spanning four years and igniting mentoring relationships).  It is through participation in electives that many students find their spark, their passion.

 

Course offerings are continually reviewed based on evolving student interest and enrollment trends; some courses have been added in recent years, and others have been phased out.

 

Majority of MHS students take one elective per year; students taking two or more electives typically participate in Music, PACE, Original Science Research, or Original Civic Research in Action.

 

Some students who appear to be taking zero electives are doubling up in academic content areas.

 

There is a disproportionate enrollment among students taking zero and two electives by race, ethnicity, and SES, which warrants further review, it was noted.

 

The next steps include: Refine the process by which MHS students select elective courses and get placed in electives, honoring student preferences whenever possible.

Develop a more systemized procedure for communicating about elective offerings at the high school, prior to students’ arrival in 9th grade.

 

Continue to further examine elective courses from the perspective of enrollment numbers, student interest and capacity/potential to expand.

 

Work with the District Equity Team to understand why students of color and low-SES students are over-represented in the student population not taking any electives and under-represented among students taking multiple electives.