A New Twist on Elective Courses

Savannah DeFino, Photographer

The Ramapo High School Program of Studies has recently undergone some exciting changes. New courses in the science, social studies, and world language departments have been introduced into the curriculum and will be available for students to take next year in the 2022-2023 school year. Other fun courses involving hands-on learning in life skills will also be offered. A few interesting ones include skin care, cosmetology, environmental design, songwriting, and small animal care. 


Most electives within the RIH district consist of straight-forward curriculums, whether they have to do with engineering, technology, history, or even art. That is not to say that all of them are boring, however. Many of them are interactive and give kids the opportunity to pursue their passions outside of their mandatory core classes. How many of these classes will give students real-life experience with potential future jobs, though? From practicing patient care in hospitals, learning what attracts people in marketing, and even how to properly maintain plants to keep a town looking sharp. All of these are real skills that students may need in their adult lives. 


Ramapo senior Juliana DeFino says, “It’s cool because I’ve never seen any other school have classes like this, and I’m sure that a lot of kids are interested in those topics.” 

Healthcare Occupations

Healthcare Occupations is a class available to freshmen and sophomores looking to gain experience in the medical field. Some skills that students will acquire include maintaining medical records, scheduling appointments, purchasing medical equipment, recording vital signs, and preparing patients for exams. This course will allow students to practice realistic human interaction as they would in hospitals or other healthcare centers if they choose to follow a medical career path.

Small Animal Care / Vet Tech Assistant

In this elective class, students will work with live animals to learn grooming and veterinary assistance skills. Students are taught how to recognize health concerns in various breeds of dogs and cats. They will also gain experience working with different types of equipment such as kennels.

Social Studies

Not only has Ramapo added these intriguing courses within the “life” department into next year’s curriculum, but the social studies department has amped up its game as well. An advanced placement (AP), 5 credit U.S. Government and Politics class has just made things interesting. In this introductory college-level class students analyze texts and data on constitutionalism, liberty and order, and competing policy-making interests. There are five units: Foundations of American Democracy, Civil Liberties and Rights, Branches of Government, American Political Ideologies and Beliefs, and Political Participation. Ramapo social studies teacher, Ms. Noah, says, “AP American Government is a terrific addition to an already stellar lineup of Social Studies electives. I think it will attract a lot of interest from students who want to understand the United States government and our Constitution and are looking for the challenge of an AP course.”


Ramapo, get excited for next year! Which of these sounds appealing to you? What are you curious about? Pursue any of your passions next year by taking one, or a few, of these awesome new course offerings!