Photo courtesy of uwp.edu
by STEPHANIE TANG
Ethnic Studies will be a graduation requirement beginning with the class of 2020.
The course will carry five credits and provide a general overview of different ethnic groups so students are more aware of the diversity that surrounds them.
Ethnic Studies will be replacing the Driver’s Education semester of freshmen studies; however, the 30 hours required for Driver’s Education will be integrated into the Health portion of freshman studies.
“I don’t know much of what it will entail yet, but I know it will be an enriching class; to have a more diversified curriculum will open more knowledge for the students,” said Beatriz De La Rosa, freshman class counselor.
The Montebello Unified School District (MUSD) Board of Education adopted the resolution to implement this course Feb. 19, 2015, in order to encourage students to think critically about language, race, ethnicity and culture, according to an article posted March 2015 on the district website.
“It is important to know about oneself and others to better relate to each other,” said Constantino Duarte, assistant principal. “Also, in an ever-shrinking world, it is important to know that being different is okay and that we share much more than we are aware of with those we perceive as different.”
Those who will be teaching Ethnic Studies are required to have a social science credential and are currently finalizing the curriculum in preparation for next year.
As the fourth school district in California to adopt Ethnic Studies as a high school graduation curriculum, MUSD continues its goal to provide multi-cultural, lingual and ethnic instruction and opportunity for its students, as stated by the district website.
The resolution also requires that Ethnic Studies courses be created for all elementary and intermediate schools.