Curating a Clever Curriculum


Lucy Broun

Junior Mackenzie Golomski works on Physics homework.

Lucy Broun, Senior Staff Writer

Each year St. Joe reflects on and adjusts its curriculum to suit its students’ interests and needs. For the next school year (2023-2024), St. Joe is adding new classes in Fine Arts, Science, Math, and Social Studies.

In Piano I,  students will spend a semester learning the basics of piano playing and music theory. The Fine Arts department is also creating a new Honors Acting III course in which students continue to develop their acting skills and learn basic directing techniques. Piano I will be available to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors; however, the acting course is offered only to juniors and seniors who have taken Acting I and II or have department approval. In addition to these changes, the Fine Arts department has changed its second-level courses (Drawing II, Digital Photography II, Drawing and Painting, etc) to be offered for college credit through UMSL as weighted courses. 

Curriculum director Dr. Rose Davidson is anticipating great success for these new art courses. 

“I’m excited about the new Piano course where everybody comes in with a keyboard and you’re learning how to play piano because that helps develop science and math skills, the rhythms and the patterns help with math,” Dr. Davidson said. 

The Science department is also making many changes to the courses they are offering. The current joined AP/ACP Chemistry course is being split into two separate courses, AP and ACP Chemistry, respectively. Additionally, two new first-year physics and chemistry courses have been added; Physics Accelerated and Chemistry Accelerated. These courses are designed to be an option in between the regular courses and the Honors courses. 

The math department is also creating a new course, ACC Calculus III. This course will be available as a senior course for juniors who have taken AP/ACC Calculus BC. 

Current junior Lydia Kaushik is looking forward to taking the new classes offered next year.

“I’m so excited St. Joe is offering Calc III because it provides new opportunities to help me prepare for college,” Lydia said. 

The Social Studies department is also introducing a new course for juniors and seniors; Comparative Government and Politics. 

Junior Lucy Broun works out a calculus problem. (Lydia Kaushik)

Dr. Davidson appreciates the real-world applications of the new social studies course. 

“In the world today you have to understand where other countries are coming from, on the same issues that can tear our country apart, it is important to be able to look at how those would look in a different country,” Dr. Davidson said. 

Many classes are changing names or weight as well, with the English course Literature and Media of Extraordinary Lives becoming an Honors course. Additionally the Technical Writing elective is being considered an English elective and Video Production is being offered for Computer Science credit only. 

There are many changes coming to the classes at St. Joe for next year. Students and faculty alike are looking forward to the

benefits these new classes will bring.