Civics ends pilot year


Pilar Valdes, Assistant Pulse Editor

At LT, many students live in constant fear of not meeting the graduation requirements. Students of all ages are told by their counselors to make sure they have one year of fine arts, one year of practical arts, four years of English, two of math; the list goes on. This year, a new graduation requirement was added to sophomore’s schedules: Civics, a course required by the state, Global Studies Division Chair Paul Houston said.

“Being the first grade to take the class, I think students were initially annoyed that we had to take it,” Molly Davies ‘20 said. “But then once we got in the class, I think we all realized how important and relevant it was.”

Civics is a one semester course taken by all sophomores that focuses on teaching students their role in American society, as well as teaching government and current politics, Houston said.

“In the current political climate today, it is important for all citizens to be informed and engaged to protect our democracy,” Global Studies Assistant Division Chair Mica Vahl said.

While learning about their role as American citizens, Civics students are also required to make a “Genius Hour” or “TAP” project, which allows them to explore ways to become engaged, civic-minded citizens. They work with community members to solve a societal problem or issue, or work to increase awareness about issues that impact students, Vahl said.

“As soon as we understand that we influence our community, it helps us become more active,” Davies said. “It helps us learn that we can have an impact.”

Students learn about current events, meaning that the curriculum changes each semester, Vahl said.

“Staying up to date with the current issues in our society can be challenging because it can be hard to determine whether information we see, read or hear is reliable and credible.” she said.

Still, students and teachers alike stress the importance and relevance of Civics.

“In a country that is a democracy, if we have a government of the people, by the people for the people, but the people don’t know how it works or what the rules are, that’s a government by ignorance,” Houston said.