Customizing Your Curriculum With ISPs and GOAs

Antonio Feliciano y Pleyto While Latin offers an array of electives for students to enroll in, some students opt to construct their own course through an Independent Study Project (ISP). The focus of an ISP is decided by the student with the guidance of their faculty sponsor. In addition to ISPs, the Global Online Academy (GOA) is another alternative where students can enroll in online electives taught by teachers from around the world. So what cool ISPs and GOAs are Upper School students studying this semester? “I saw that Ancient Greek was not in the curriculum, so I decided to pursue it with Ms. Landis” says sophomore Tejas Vadali. “Much like when I first began learning Latin, Greek has allowed me to make more connections with English, and I am finding so many more prefixes, suffixes, and roots that I didn’t know existed before.” Tejas’ takes Attic Greek, which is his first ISP, with his classmate Alex Laverty. Both opted for the pass/fail grading system as opposed to the conventional letter-grading. Most students who take an ISP choose pass/fail grading, which, according to Mr. Greer, is encouraged so that students focus on learning about their chosen topic rather than stressing about their grades. Students generally enjoy taking ISPs, as they explore topics that they already have interests in and have more freedom in what they wish to study and how they plan to study it. Sophomore Robert Igbokwe completed an ISP on Activism in 1968 with Mr. Fript last year and loved it so much that he says he will undoubtedly do more ISPs in the future. Some unique ISPs that students are currently taking include sports journalism with Mr. Tempone and a project with Mr. Greer on whether social media platforms should be regulated according to constitutional law. There is also a new TA program for those who are proficient in a particular subject area and want to help teach a class in that subject. Sophomore Rashail Wasim, for instance, is a TA for ninth grade English. Global Online Academy courses are another option for those who seek to learn about topics outside of the traditional curriculum at Latin, and Latin was one of the first schools to join GOA. Ms. Merrell has been in charge of GOA courses at here at Latin for the past four years. An exciting new addition to GOA, according to Ms. Merrell, are the new “flex courses,” which run for about two weeks. Sophomore Tushar Patel said he enjoyed his two-week flex course in computer science. According to Ms. Merrell, about 25 Latin students enroll in GOA courses each semester.]]>