The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum


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Changes for underclass social studies courses

More options early on create a more prepared student

change in curriculum options is set to launch for tenth graders in the fall of the 2015-2016 school year and has already been instituted for ninth graders this year.

    Social Studies Department Chair and a World Cultures teacher, Jennifer  Marien comments, “Whether it was discussing the apartheid in South Africa, the communism era of China with Mao Zedong, or covering the Israel and Palestine issue, World Cultures definitely opened a new perspective to the freshman class and has supported our learning and understanding of history overall.
    “In addition, we even took the time to cover current events of that year[…] We were able to have student-lead discussions with the numerous issues that we believed were not being covered (enough).”

     This class encompassed so much material that teachers decided to break it up into smaller courses so that students could dive deeper into each topic.

     This school year, it was split into  World Cultures: Modern World History anBig History. Next year, the same two courses will be offered based on positive feedback from students.


For sophomores, five different U.S. History classes will be offered in 2015 instead of just one. These options include U.S. History: The American West, Environmentalism and Conservation, Innovation and Technology, Movement and Peoples, and AP U.S. History.

      “It’s been in the works for three or four years  to give freshmen and sophomores a little bit more choice just like the juniors and seniors have,” says Beth Calderone. “We had two very regimented classes and then it opened up into a world of options. We were thinking that it would probably benefit a lot of kids to be able to pick and choose a little bit earlier.”

     A few years ago, we did a pretty massive national search at what ninth and tenth grade history programs look like, and many of the things that we liked the most in that fact  finding mission were places that did offer choice at the ninth and tenth grade level.”

        Calderone also mentioned that many top-level independent schools were increasing choice at a  younger age, and it was important for Blake to stay on par with that caliber of education.

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Maxine Whitely
Maxine Whitely, Editor Emeritus
Maxine has been a Spectrum Editor since the spring semester of her Freshman year. She was the Student Life Editor for her freshman/sophomore year on staff, the Arts & Cultures Editor and Co-Editor-In-Chief her sophomore/junior year, and is the Sports Editor, In-depth Editor and manages the staff as the Editor-in-Chief of the paper in her junior/senior year. Maxine's only passions are Spectrum and international diplomacy and she dreams to wear pantsuits often in her adult life.
Katya Tobak
Katya Tobak, Editor Emeritus
Katya has been an editor of Spectrum since the start of her junior year. She was formerly the editor of Features and Arts and Cultures and now is the Managing Copy Editor for all articles. Outside of Spectrum, she enjoy reading.

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