New Junior Electives

New+Junior+Electives

Rebecca Kalimi ’23

This year, along with many other changes to the curriculum and the schedule, the administration decided to extend Senior electives to the Junior class. Dr. Jucovy and Ms. Krupka developed this idea a few years ago and continually advocated for its progression. They discussed this idea with the administration multiple times, as well as the college advisors and a range of the staff to work out what they decided would be an appropriate range of course selections. 

Both Dr. Jucovy and Ms. Krupka knew from the beginning that they wanted a range of courses that included business and economics, aware that so many Ramaz students are interested in pursuing business in their future careers. The more teachers who learned about this program, the more suggestions arose for the course range. For example, Ms. Rabhan suggested an art-related course to be able to introduce to Ramaz students ways to pursue art professionally. This was exactly the point of the program in the first place: to allow students to take courses that directly correlate to their tentative future careers.

The program was extended to Juniors, in addition to the Seniors, so they could choose diverse classes with a series of lessons that might actually help enlighten a student to understand different career choices. This will be in line with the elective workload as well. Normally, Ramaz classes are full-year, graded traditional courses, but these electives are a chance for juniors to have a minor course that is specialized to their interest. These classes are not part of a usual high school curriculum and they are aimed to give students new choices to personalize their schedules. 

Although Dr. Jucovy was heavily influential in developing this program, he opted not to teach an elective this year. He acknowledged this as an opportunity for other teachers to get more interactive experience with students. He explained that he wanted other teachers to gain more teaching experience in a wider range of classes. Nevertheless, Dr. Jucovy did oversee the compilation of each course curriculum and continued to stay heavily involved in the entire process of the development of the Junior elective program. 

Dr. Jucovy emphasized the fact that Ramaz hired many new teachers to teach these electives, highlighting the importance of the program. Specifically, the school asked a Ramaz parent, Jacob Doft, to teach a business course. They also hired a new teacher, Adelina Yankova, for the Social Media and Journalism course, who is equipped with a journalism Ph.D. Additionally, the administration brought back a Ramaz alumni, Ethan Fuld, to teach the Coding elective. One of the new history teachers will be teaching the Literature Books course. Dr. Jucovy also stressed how qualified these teachers are for their positions and how engaging their curriculums already seem to be.

Students from both classes of 2021 and 2022 are disappointed that they missed out on the chance to have electives both junior and senior year but are excited to see how it all works out for their classmates. The faculty are feeling positive about the new junior elective program and are eager to watch it expand beyond expectations. 

Most importantly, Ramaz hopes to keep this new program as an opportunity to continue improving student choices. The administration hopes to ensure that every student has a chance to explore their interests without the pressure of grades and have the autonomy to choose specific courses.