By Naomi Tsuang
Online News Editor
The Mira Costa administration created two new departments, the Media Arts department and the STEM/CTE department, for the 2017-18 school year.
The Media Arts Department will include Mustang Morning News, the La Vista school newspaper and Hoofprints Yearbook and Costa Cinematic Arts and Broadcast Journalism teacher Michael Hernandez will serve as the department chair. As a freshman and sophomore, students will take semester-long courses in photography, layout, journalism and multimedia while having the opportunity to work on the publications, and at the end of their sophomore year, they will declare which of the three publications they wish to be apart of.
“I think that it’s a good idea in theory, but there may not be enough students [in the publications] with freshmen and sophomores not fully taking part in any of these three programs,” Hoofprints yearbook copy editor and sophomore Jared Goore said.
Costa Principal Dr. Ben Dale said that there will be no immediate changes to the courses next fall, but over the next few years administration will implement the changes to the freshman and sophomore year experience.
“The Media Arts are a lot of work without structure, so I wanted to create a structure so that we can have growth,” Dale said. “Media Arts is an academy that we have been trying to build for a number of years and over time it will be a complete restructure so that all kids are taking foundational courses, regardless of what publication they are going into.”
The STEM/CTE department will include Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering, Computer Science and Biotechnology. Costa math teacher Leanne Weaver will serve as the department chair. There are currently six STEM courses at Costa, but Dale said that administration created this department because a majority of teachers in engineering feel that they need their own department for growth.
“The area of computers and engineering is growing faster than any of our other courses,” Dale said. “[However], we do not have enough structure or the staff to expand. At the core of it, we are paying attention to Media Arts as an academy and STEM as a pathway in saying we’ll give them an identity and structure and we want to see what those departments will do.”