Granada Guaranteed Curriculum: A program for leftovers or for the individual?

By Eden Ovadia

They call us the “leftovers,” those of us who decided to stray from the popular path at Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC) of joining a particular academic program and who instead took Granada Guaranteed Curriculum (GGC).
GHC is home to over 4,500 students, many of whom are involved in specialized programs such as Global Human Initiative (GHI), Humanitas/New Media (HU/NM), and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). These programs focus on an array of subjects such as social justice, liberal arts and humanities, science, and math.
If there are so many different programs, why would a student prefer to study in a program that has no direct concentration?
It is not that these students do not fit into any of these programs, but that they simply may not want to. After all, entering high school is intimidating and some may not be ready to commit to a program they don’t know much about in their freshman or sophomore year.
Rather than limiting us, the freedom that comes with being a part of the GGC program is wonderful. Counselors help with completing the A-G requirements that are necessary to graduate, but beyond those necessities, students have a great deal of flexibility in choosing classes that they find interesting.
In some specialized programs, flexibility in scheduling becomes quite difficult, as the students’ interests may interfere with certain classes that are required to keep a student engaged in the program’s curriculum. These classes may only be available in certain periods, making it difficult for one to choose extra classes they want to take. The GGC program, on the other hand, offers a variety of classes in different periods, thus giving students a larger opportunity to take the classes they want, without needing to sacrifice other classes, sports, or extracurricular activities.
Moreover, GGC students might prefer a program that has more diversity in the students and teachers that are in each class.
“If students like to be exposed to a variety of different teachers and students then they have that opportunity” Counselor Wendy Woodburn said.
Many GGC programs have certain teachers who teach subjects that fit the curriculum often resulting in students having the same teacher for more than one year.
Additionally, programs such as HU/NM and International Baccalaureate (IB) engage students with each other, encouraging group work and cooperation with others to ensure success. According to the HU/NM program description, the cooperation achieved by grouping students together in cohorts and using a “team-taught approach.” IB also uses cohorts in their program.
According to the IB Presentation, “All students, regardless of their personal interests, work together in all classes.”
It is important to acknowledge the many different academic options that GHC offers and to appreciate each and every one for their differences and similarities. It is wrong to look down upon a student for choosing to participate in a certain program, as everyone has different aspirations.
Just as some may prefer the comfort of learning with the same group of students and the same subject focus throughout their high school years, others may wish to experience a wide variety of environments. Respect for all students in GHC is necessary for a positive academic environment.

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