By: Stella Pagkas, Social Media Manager
Amidst a myriad of rumors and panic across campus, we sat down with Ms. Butler to figure out what’s really happening to the Leigh yearbook and newspaper next year. Here is everything that we know so far.
As of April, Ms. Butler says it is “up in the air” whether Leigh will have either yearbook or journalism next year, “the reason being the low enrollment,” and she will not know for sure if the classes will continue until May. Currently, there are eleven students enrolled in next year’s journalism class, and sixteen enrolled in yearbook. Ms. Butler stated, “While I would love to be able to run those courses at those numbers to maintain the programs, I’m only given a certain amount of staffing for the whole school, and then I’ve got to determine where I use that staffing, so if I run a class at eleven or sixteen, somewhere else I’m having to run a class at a higher number to offset it.”
Ms. Butler believes that few students enrolled in these classes this year “because of our new graduation requirements and the change to our science pathway.” Students are now required to take three years of math courses, three years of science courses, and two years of a world language, so many students are making the decision to take more academic courses. Additionally, students are required to take one year of a visual or performing art, which neither of these classes count for. Both yearbook and journalism fulfill the G-category, meaning they qualify as college prep electives.
Despite low enrollment, Ms. Butler feels that yearbook and journalism are “very important programs” and hopes that Leigh does not have to let go of them. She describes these courses as “school-wide memorials to students” and wants to ensure that Leigh’s counselors and administration are highlighting the importance of those programs.
If it turns out that Leigh is unable to have these classes next year, there are alternative options that students could look into. Ms. Butler says she would be open to asking other CUHSD sites about enrolling Leigh students in their journalism and yearbook courses in order to “provide these opportunities to our students if we can’t.” She also said there is “absolutely the option” of these classes becoming clubs. Another option for students is to find a similar course in journalism or publications at a community college, which Ms. Butler “would be happy to sign off to put on [their Leigh] transcript.”
However, students may not need to consider these options, as there is still time for those interested in either journalism or yearbook to enroll. Ms. Butler is planning to run another course request opportunity for changes at the beginning of May in which more students may decide to switch electives or fill an off period with one of these classes. Additionally, Ms. Butler is willing to break the normal course request protocol in order to maintain these classes. Anyone who is interested may go to see her or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, even before the final opportunity in May. Like many students at Leigh, Ms. Butler “would hate to see these classes go.”