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Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Lizze Small Contributing Illustrator
How to help our Earth
April 12, 2024

    Middle school electives become semester long

    Two+middle+schoolers+draw+together+in+their+elective.
    Dinah Staff Photographer
    Two middle schoolers draw together in their elective.

    To be implemented during the 2024-2025 school year, Marlborough’s middle school electives will transition from being quarter-long to semester-long. 

    Each year, middle schoolers receive a form to request multiple electives of their choice, to fulfill both their interests and Marlborough’s requirements. Following the pandemic, Director of the Middle School Sean Fitts and the administration team have observed an increase in the number of students whose schedules don’t permit them to take their chosen electives. As a result of limited teacher availability and added electives in other departments, there were too many electives to choose from. Fitts believes semester-long electives will be more efficient, allowing students to take their preferred classes. He hopes that the new system will prevent the cancellation of electives due to under-enrollment.

    Currently, the electives serve as foundational classes that aim to satisfy student interest and prepare them for more advanced courses in high school. Middle school electives include an expansive range of topics outside of the required curriculum, such as Maker’s Space: Sew.  

    “I think in the end [this decision] will create happier students because they will end up getting the electives they want,” Fitts said.         

    This school year, the Visual Arts Department is the only one to have switched to semester-long electives. Head of the Visual Arts Department Chelsea Dean can attest to the success of lengthened electives and believes they have positively impacted student’s learning. 

    “It’s such a win to have a semester with my students and allow the class to slow down, delve deeper and get to know each other better [to produce] a much fuller and richer experience,” Dean said. 

    With this new format, visual arts electives can now incorporate disparate genres and mixed mediums, allowing students to get the most out of their art classes. 

    “I can tell you the work I saw in the student art show was some of the best work that we’ve had,” Dean said. 

    Nina ’28 and Caroline ’28 took Dean’s class, as both a quarter-long and semester-long elective. They collectively agree that they benefited from the additional time they gained to complete projects and enjoyed the more expansive coverage the extended course offered.

     “With the semester-long art course, there was more time to receive feedback on ways to improve,” Caroline said. 

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    Sydney '26, Staff Writer
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