Ethnic Studies becomes required class

February 15, 2023

Starting next year, incoming freshmen will be required to take the Ethnic Studies course. According to Ethnic Studies teacher, Avery Beebe, the class is legally required to be mandatory for the graduating class of 2030. This will change the A-G course requirements to graduate.

“Because it is a law that students in the 2030 graduating class will have to take it, so far its just an elective. So kids who are taking it are ones that are signing up to take it,” Beebe said.

Beebe does not know what will happen to the class after the course requirement changes if the plan for freshman to take the class next year does not go through.

“That’s probably a district level to decide how and when that’s exactly offered, for right now it’s offered at each site as an elective. This course started at the college level in California, but for right now the plan is to have the course available to all students.” 

Ethnic Studies is a multidisciplinary class as it contains many subjects. The class studies the community on topics of race, ethnicity, identities and more. They also work with many different subjects. 

“Ethnic studies is an amazing interdisciplinary class, so that means it includes lots of different subjects, so it’s a class to really explore ourselves. It’s a way to examine our communities, we talk about obviously race and ethnicity but we talk about lots of different examples of our identities and our communities. We look at current events and we look at lots of different subjects.”

Beebe takes what she learns from students and other classes and uses what she learns in her future students. “I’ve learned a lot taking this class and teaching this class and I do every year.”

Teachers worked with other organizations and colleges to make Ethnic Studies, a previous college course, meet the high school educational level. “I work with a lot of teachers around the district, we’ve also gone and worked with different organizations and other colleges and so even the things that we make, they are from college level courses that we have made sure work for high school students.”

 Avery Beebe took many training sessions so she can teach this class. She enjoyed the training. She met many people of various ethnicities and backgrounds. “I’ve gone to lots of training, met really amazing people, all of really very different diverse Backgrounds, so native American studies, Chicano studies, Asian-American studies and so many more.”

Previous Ethnic Studies student Reese Madamba says that she’s been able to reflect on herself and others in the class.

“Being in Ethnic Studies was really great, it’s just so awesome. It’s a great welcoming environment and I really learned a lot even about myself going through the class and I learned a lot about other people,” Madamba said.

“Although it’s just a course on race and ethnicity, that’s part of it, that’s not all. It’s all about different experiences. I think people can learn a lot from Ethnic Studies, they can learn about themselves, they can learn a lot about their classmates and about their peers.”

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