New courses to be presented for approval

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District will consider approving 16 new middle and high school courses.

The school board plans to vote Tuesday night on two eighth-grade honors and 14 high-school level classes, including two Advanced Placement (AP) and three International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.

All the classes have gone through a rigorous screening process, gaining the approval of the teachers and principals before being presented to Director of Secondary Instruction and Curriculum Thomas Antal and his office.

"By this time, it's been very clearly vetted," Antal said.

Several courses, French 4 and 5 and History of the Americas, are up for approval to meet the growth of Newport Harbor High School's IB program, Antal said.

The College Board also changed its requirements for dance courses that lead to the creation of Beginning Dance, an elective open to all students that will incorporated the range of dance styles, and a more advanced course that is audition-only called Dance Production. Guitar classes are also coming before the district for the first time, Antal said, adding it was brought forward by teachers.

There is also a new environmentally-focused career technical education pathway being brought forth. The course starts with Introduction to Environmental Studies sophomore year, Environmental Research and Technology junior year and Environmental Field Studies senior year.

Anatomy, a sophomore-to senior-year life science elective; Multimedia International Business, a sophomore-to senior-level elective; AP Studio Art: 2-D Design Portfolio and Drawing Portfolio, both junior-and senior-level arts electives; and eighth-grade honors Language Arts and Physical Science classes are also coming before the board.

Once the classes are approved by the board they can be used district-wide, Antal said.

The board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Roderick H. MacMillian Board Room in the District Education Center at 2985 A Bear St. in Costa Mesa.

To read the details on each class, see the online agenda at

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