Skip To ContentSkip To Content
    Seattle School Board Approves New Courses for High School Students
    Posted on 02/18/2020
    Two students talk together in a classroom

    Seattle School Board Approves New Courses for High School Students

    At the regular school board meeting on January 22, 2020, the Seattle School Board unanimously approved eight new high school course additions for the 2020-21 school year. The courses included one (1) in career and technical education (CTE), one (1) pre-apprenticeship, two (2) language arts, and four (4) fine arts courses.

    New Courses

    The new approved courses that will be available to students are:

    Immersive Media (CTE)
    Skilled Trades Pre-Apprenticeship
    Asian American Literature (ELA)
    Latin American Literature (ELA)
    Costume Design Beginning (Fine Arts)
    Costume Design Advanced (Fine Arts)
    Jazz Band Advanced - A and B (Fine Arts)
    String Orchestra – A and B (Fine Arts)

    High school students can begin taking these new courses in the 2020-21 school year, thanks to the board’s action.

    Additionally, courses to give students other ways to take ELA courses required for graduation were developed and approved by the Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction (CAI) department.

    Language Arts Courses 

    Effective for the 2020-21 school year, four (4) ELA courses will be reclassified to meet the ELA ( American Literature and Composition 11A, 11B) graduation requirement:

    African American Literature
    Latin American Literature
    Asian American Literature
    Native American Literature

    These courses will provide students with more opportunities to read texts by and about people of color whose experiences, cultures, and customs reflect the diversity of the Seattle Public Schools student population. CAI will work with counselors and registrars to ensure that this exciting change will inform student course pre-registration for the 2020-21 school year.

    Additionally, the 2020-21 high school course catalog will have six (6) new ethnic studies courses that students can take to meet core graduation requirements.

    Ethnic Studies Courses

    New ethnic studies courses that will be available to students include:

    Ethnic Studies: American Lit. Comp. 11A
    Ethnic Studies: American Lit. Comp. 11B
    Ethnic Studies: US History 11A
    Ethnic Studies: US History 11B
    Ethnic Studies: World History 2
    Ethnic Studies: World History 3

    These courses will allow students to meet the graduation requirements for core ELA and Social Studies courses by learning critical skills, content, and perspectives of people and communities of Color and tribal sovereignties. Educators will also receive formal, in-depth training and coaching on ethnic studies prior to teaching these new courses to ensure that students are receiving the best possible ethnic studies education.

    Thank you to the Seattle School Board and the Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction department for leaning into our five-year strategic plan, Seattle Excellence, and providing additional opportunities for our high school students to succeed — especially for students furthest from educational justice — and to be prepared for college, career, and community.

    Learn more about the Seattle Public Schools Curriculum.

    Learn more about ethnic studies and graduation requirements. 

    Learn more about our five-year strategic plan, Seattle Excellence.