The time for the school to offer business classes is long overdue

December 12, 2018 — by Amanda Zhu

The lack of business studies at SHS leaves students at a disadvantage in the growing field of study.

As students select courses each year, they can pick from a wide range of advanced level academic classes, as well as an array of electives including Spanish, French, art, ceramics, computer science, etc. Notably missing from this list is anything related to business — a major field of study that interests dozens of students.

As the world of business is arguably just as significant as STEM and other fields, this seems like a major gap in the curriculum.

Many students have expressed an interest in taking business classes, whether their sights are set on a future in a business-related career or they simply want to explore more class options. Additionally, how are students supposed to know that they want to major in business if they don’t get the opportunity to gain exposure to the subject in high school?

As of now, the closest that the school offers to a business class is six weeks of economics during senior year. A mere six weeks of education is not enough to establish a strong foundation of business skills for students.

In late September, junior Brian Zhu (full disclosure: he’s my brother), posted a link in the school’s Facebook group to a petition, pushing the addition of a business class to the course selection. With students constantly re-posting and signing, it garnered nearly 150 signatures. He hopes that this petition will ultimately lead to a business class being implemented next year, so that he can take it before he goes to college.

Like many other students here, he hopes to create his own business in the future, but without a class to prepare him, it will be much harder to succeed in the field. A business class would typically entail everything a student would need to know to start a business, as well as business plans and concepts.

Although it is possible to take business classes in college, some students intend to work immediately after graduating from high school. Furthermore, it is better to start teaching students business earlier, so that they are more educated and prepared when they begin working in the future.

On top of leaving students unprepared, the lack of business classes also puts students at a disadvantage compared to students at other schools like Monta Vista and Lynbrook. Students there are offered classes such as principles of business, accounting.

Some might argue that a business class wouldn’t offer any AP or Honors credits, resulting in too little sign-ups for a full class. However, most of the students who want business classes to be offered are taking the course to prepare themselves for their futures, not merely for credit or to advance their GPA.

If students are interested in business, they will sign up for the class regardless of the credit. With the high amount of interest that has been expressed within the school, there is sure to be at least 30 signups, thereby ensuring the success of the class.

According to Zhu, although nothing has been decided yet, it is most likely that if a business class is added, science teacher Kirk Davis, the previous business teacher and someone with years of experience in industry, will teach it. The previous business class was canceled due to the increase of students doubling in science. This meant Davis could not teach the business class.

Business is a rapidly growing field and it doesn’t make any sense for the school to neglect the need for business classes, especially as a school located in Silicon Valley.

Giving students the classes they want should be a priority. Especially with the increasing dominance of business in our world and the expanding interest present at our school, implementing business classes can only yield positive effects by helping students find their interests for the future.

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