By Marlene Betancourt ’17
As of the second semester of the school year, Pritzker sophomores, juniors, and seniors are be able to get honors or enrichment credit for electives with the extra work done outside of class.
Students involved with Newspaper E-board, Concert Choir, Honors Band, Drill Team, Scribes, and the Speech and Debate Team have the option of earning either honors or enrichment credit.. Band teacher Benjamin Das and Choir teacher Brian Pavloff originally came up with the idea. The elective teachers agreed to offer honors sections because they wanted the electives to be more competitive and they also wanted the high school experience for students to be similar to that of other high schools where they are not only together by grade level.
The process with electives becoming honors had been planned since September of 2015. According to Dean of Students Paige Moran, “The obstacles were making sure that we balanced the requirements for honors[…] To get honors credit, you have to do the same amount of work. It just looks different for each elective. If you’re in honors band, you have to do some outside things with Mr. Das.”
Earlier in the beginning of second semester, the elective teachers had already offered honors credit without the boost. The reason students didn’t get it at the start of second semester was because the teachers wanted to figure out how the teachers would offer it. “You don’t want to do it halfway and not understand the unintended consequences […] the boost will be out of 4.5 [GPA]” added Moran.
Many students think it’s a great idea for electives to be offered as honors because they might already have enough enrichment credit and the honors credit will help their GPA and class rank. Junior Alexis Sotelo in Honors Band thinks it’s a great opportunity to become a better musician because the band students are able to fix major parts of the songs and devote more time to get a better sounding quality.
The honors option will only be offered at the beginning of semesters just like enrichment activities are. The work outside of class will be an addition to the class grade. The honors option has the ability to increase the elective grade if all expectations are followed, but it also has the ability to negatively impact the grade if students are not doing their part, which will be reflected on their transcript.