Atypical Courses at PCA

Besides the Core Classes, What Courses are PCA Students Taking?

While students excel in their core classes, PCA does an exceptional job of branching out and exploring more dynamic course work in STEM and the Humanities. The core classes are a derivative of these subjects: Math, Science, Bible, English and History; though there are exceptions regarding the set up of Science classes for 11th and 12th Grade students. These classes make up for five of the eight class periods, so students can explore other interests for their remaining three periods.

Some students choose to fill their remaining three class periods with a foreign language, study hall, or conditioning for athletics. However, many students sign up for some of the atypical classes PCA offers. Three of these classes are Creative Writing, History of the Holocaust, and Honors Societal and Legal Perspectives on Diversity.

Upper School AP English Teacher Mrs. Jessica Hubbard teaches Creative Writing. Senior Jack Dunnigan, who took Creative Writing, said, “Mrs. Hubbard is the greatest teacher of all time. It was a small class so there was a lot of cooperation and fun activities that taught Creative Writing to me well.” According to the PCA Curriculum guide, “Creative Writing is designed to help students develop skills in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction narrative writing.” When asked about what he gained from this class, Jack said, “I learned about writing poetry and how complex it can be. For example, my friend Josh turned a Naughty Pumpkin into a collection of detailed poems about life and human nature.”

Another popular class for students to take aside from their required classes is History of the Holocaust. Junior Sam Blanton took History of the Holocaust in the fall semester. When asked about his time, he said, “I’ve always loved history, especially World War II, so the moment I saw this class offering, I jumped all over it. I enjoyed learning about the reaction of everyday German citizens.” This class is taught by Upper School History Teacher Ms. Cindy de León. Discussing his take-aways, Sam said, “Ms. D. helped me recognize how being a bystander still makes you guilty. It helped me apply this to my life and look for ways I can step up and say something rather than just being a bystander.”

Director of Diversity Mrs. Jenny Brady and Director of Worldview Mr. Dan Panetti teach Honors Societal and Legal Perspectives on Diversity. “This course examines various areas of diversity –Gender, Race, Age, Ability, Culture, and Economic Status– from a sociological and legal perspective,” according to the curriculum guide. When asked about why he enjoys teaching this class, Mr. Panetti said, “My favorite part of the class is the preparation for the course; I’m reading some incredible books and studying some of our nation’s most interesting Supreme Court cases. I’m learning so much about how our nation has dealt with issues this course covers regarding diversity, inclusion, equity and justice.” This is the first year Honors Societal and Legal Perspectives on Diversity is being offered, and students and faculty are already loving it.

While students take their core classes, they are encouraged to explore courses about topics that interest them. Whether it be learning to write creatively, diving into the Holocaust, or looking at society through a social and legal lens, PCA offers courses that will quench these curiosities.