New Year, New Opportunities

New Classes, and Possible DMACC and AP Classes for Students


Screenshot taken from the North Polk High School website. This page provides the Registration Guide for students, as well as registration information for DMACC classes.

Zoe Marquez, Editor

As conversations about the selection of yearly classes are brought up in early February, new opportunities are brought into North Polk High School (NPHS) for not only incoming freshmen to the high school, but also current students, with the exception of seniors. 

In the first semester of the 2023-2024 school year, students will have the opportunities of trying some new courses at the high school, and/or classes offered every other year. Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to decide if they would like to take Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and/or Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

Next school year, classes such as entrepreneurship, the combination of high school level psychology and sociology will be combined into a class titled Behavioral Science. In addition, with the next school year being considered an “odd” year, classes that are offered every other year will be making a comeback, such as economics, Civil War and zoology for the social studies and science departments. 

Furthermore, the physical education department (PE) will have the addition of walking fitness, as well as the opportunity for students to take part of the class peer helper PE. 

Jacob Wolfe, one of three counselors at NPHS, voiced that in the following school year, there will be some students with cognitive and or mental impairments that might make it challenging to participate in some PE classes. The class will allow students to assist their peers and provide a positive environment for them. 

“We look forward to having some students to interact and help make it a positive experience for those students,” said Wolfe.

Wolfe explained that these new classes will provide the opportunity for students to pursue their interests, such as business, and give students that may not like the competitive aspect of physical education a chance to still be active. 

Other opportunities that will be presented for students are the options of taking DMACC and/or AP classes. AP classes are typically more challenging, depending on the student and can provide college credit when taking, and passing, a test at the end of a full year. DMACC classes are guaranteed college credit and can be either one semester or a full year depending on the class. 

The process to start signing up for a DMACC course online and or at a campus for students will be after Spring break at the end of the semester through links sent to students. Classes taught at the high school will be under the course registration on Infinite Campus. 

With these opportunities being offered to students, Jessica Allen, another counselor at NPHS, expressed how she encouraged students to branch out and scout different classes in order to not only get a feel for the classes, but also find a possible interest for after high school.

“I feel like that’s a high schooler’s job, to explore. Whether it be a Forensic Science class, a Creative Writing class and/or maybe a Foods class in order to see if that could lead you [students] to a possible career path, or just a life skill that  can be used outside of high school,” conveyed Allen.

Students are able to find the new courses, as well as “odd” year class descriptions in the North Polk Student Course Registration Guide that can be found on the “Counselors” section of the North Polk Website. The opportunity to make changes to scheduling will end on March 19, 2023, and students are encouraged to talk to family, educators and/or the counselors themselves to see what classes may be of best fit and or interest to students. 

“We love having those conversations [about possible classes for future] with students and being able to help see which path may be right for them… I get excited for students to find their path,” expresses Allen.