Participation in electives is on the decline

Program membership falls due to students choosing to increase GPAs rather than pursue passions

Overall+involvement+in+extracurriculars+has+fallen+at+GBHS%2C+possibly+due+to+cultural+shifts+towards+academics%2C+as+exemplified+by+this+nearly+empty+journalism+classroom.
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Participation in electives is on the decline

Overall involvement in extracurriculars has fallen at GBHS, possibly due to cultural shifts towards academics, as exemplified by this nearly empty journalism classroom.

Overall involvement in extracurriculars has fallen at GBHS, possibly due to cultural shifts towards academics, as exemplified by this nearly empty journalism classroom.

ELLIOTT HYMAN

Overall involvement in extracurriculars has fallen at GBHS, possibly due to cultural shifts towards academics, as exemplified by this nearly empty journalism classroom.

ELLIOTT HYMAN

ELLIOTT HYMAN

Overall involvement in extracurriculars has fallen at GBHS, possibly due to cultural shifts towards academics, as exemplified by this nearly empty journalism classroom.

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  The dodo bird has been driven to extinction. At Granite Bay High School, electives might be on their way to the same fate.

  “When I first came here … there were 70 kids in student government – now, there are 30,” yearbook teacher/adviser Bernadette Cranmer said. “Media is smaller, GBiT is way smaller, (yearbook) is smaller. All of us have been drastically impacted.”

  But why has enrollment in electives fallen off so steeply?

  Cranmer says it’s connected to an increased push for students to fill schedules with weighted Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes so students can  raise their GPAs in the race for class rank.

  “If they take one of our classes, it doesn’t matter if they get an A,” Cranmer said. “Their GPA will be lowered because it’s not a weighted class.”

We have some students missing out on really phenomenal experiences in journalism, yearbook, Student Government, media and GBiT,”

— Bernadette Cranmer

  Junior Catherine Candy focuses on AP classes in the hope of achieving future success.

  “I didn’t like how I was required to take a bunch of classes that I wasn’t interested in taking,” Candy said, “so after (physical education) and my required art (credit), I decided to take the ones that interested me. (In classes) like art and stuff, the deadlines and timelines and stuff stress me out. I like doing academic (classes) because I feel it’s more relevant to my future.”

  Candy is currently enrolled in AP Art History, which she prefers over a typical art class.

  “Because I swim over 20 hours per week, taking fourth (period) off is better than taking an elective for me because I get more time to finish my homework and get ready for swim,” Candy said. “I want to get ahead in school and because everyone in my grade is so competitive, taking an elective isn’t really something you can do if you want to stay in the top (rank).”

  Sophomore Eden Arellano takes yearbook, a class with decreasing enrollment in recent years.

  “When I got there, there were 16 people on the staff,” Arellano said. “And at first there was 20 and it went all the way down throughout the weeks, and it was kind of crazy having so much work to do all at once. It was still so much fun … but having a small staff was kind of tough.”

  Decreasing numbers puts more pressure on students in elective classes that would in the past have had more help, like yearbook, journalism, Student Government, media and GBiT.

I want to get ahead in school and because everyone in my grade is so competitive, taking an elective isn’t really something you can do if you want to stay in the top (rank).”

— Catherine Candy

  “I think (yearbook) is a great environment to be in,” Arellano said. “The kids are so cool, and every year, somebody is going to want to be in there. I want to come back and I want to do a full year just because I know that it’s hard on not only the staff, but Mrs. Cranmer too, to get everything done in a year’s time and to make everything to where it’s as perfect as we can.”

  Contrary to popular belief, straight A’s and a perfect academic resume isn’t the golden ticket into a top college, Cranmer says.

  “We have some students missing out on really phenomenal experiences in journalism, yearbook, Student Government, media and GBiT,” Cranmer said. “All these classes that are good classes where they’d be learning about problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration – real-world skills that help you in college and careers – they’re completely missing out.

  “Instead they’re sitting in an academic class for something that a lot of them don’t even care about.”

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