FCPS School Board updates 2023-2024 course offerings


Anya Raval, Team Leader

At the regular school board meeting on Nov. 4, the Fairfax County School Board met to discuss changes to the courses offered for middle and high school in the 2023-2024 school year. Even though Jefferson has an extensive course list filled with many STEM-specific courses, changes for the 2023-2024 school year may impact participation in classes such as band, orchestra, and theatre. 

The Course Review Committee proposed the addition of three new courses to the current course catalog: Athletic & Sports Leadership 4, Film Study II, and Forensic Science. 

Three years of Athletic & Sports Leadership is already offered as part of the current course catalog and the addition of a fourth year allows continuity for students interested in pursuing athletic leadership skills. Similarly, Film Study II extends the learning in Film Study I without the added assessments of an IB/AP course. 

Additionally, Forensic Science allows students to combine various sciences learned throughout high school such as biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and relate them to criminal justice. 

However, the biggest changes to the courses offered are the change in weighting for advanced levels of band, orchestra, and chorus, along with the third and fourth-year courses for Technical Theatre & Theatre Arts. 

By adding a 0.5 weight to the GPA, those courses now receive an honors weighting which will encourage participation and continuation in these classes. Changes in weighting may lead to increased participation in the music and arts department at Jefferson, eliminating the decrease in weighted GPA by taking these courses currently.