Curriculum for Pinelands Regional’s Humanities and Law Academy Updated

Apr 10, 2019
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Last week The SandPaper reported the Pinelands Regional School District is launching an ambitious program that would allow selected freshmen in the 2019-20 school year to enroll in “learning academies,” in which they would join cohorts of 10 to 15 members in concentrated studies in either the biomedical field or the field of the humanities and law throughout their high school career. The learning academy programs will be rigorous.

Students in the academies will commit to taking honors and AP (advanced placement) courses in their field of study for four years. Students in the biomedical academy, for example, would be signing up for honors and AP courses in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, microbiology and psychology as well as advanced math courses, hopefully including statistics. If that sounds more like a college than a high school course load, it is – students would be taking dual enrollment classes associated with either Ocean County College or Stockton University, enabling them to earn college credits while in high school. That would give them a tremendous step up upon enrolling in a college or university, jumping them ahead of typical college freshmen by a semester’s worth or even an entire year’s worth of credits.

The article quoted Gina Frasca, supervisor of Pinelands’ English and social studies programs, about the curriculum for students wishing to enroll in the humanities and law academy. She had spoken at a PRSD Board of Education meeting back in December 2018 saying the curriculum at that time was only “prospective.” Frasca read the article and responded with an update reflecting changes made in the intervening months.

The current curriculum in the humanities and law academy, Frasca said, will start in the freshman year with an honors course in World History, a three-college-credit dual enrollment course associated with Ocean County College. Sophomores will be offered three-credit dual enrollment classes with OCC in US History 1, AP Psychology and AP Macroeconomics. Juniors will take AP Language and Composition in association with OCC and AP US History II and Sociology and Family Law – four-credit classes – associated with Stockton. Students in the senior year of the humanities/law academy will take AP Literature and Composition and AP European History in association with OCC and Law and the Legislative Process plus Careers in Public Service in association with Stockton. —R.M.

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