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Staples should not require art classes

Students stress over the graduation requirement of taking an art credit.
Storey Ahl ’25
Students stress over the graduation requirement of taking an art credit.

When January comes around and it’s time to start thinking about what classes I want to take for next year, the requirement of an art credit always seems to be looming over my head. 

According to the Program of Studies on the Staples High School website, every student must take at least one credit of Visual and Performing Arts in order to graduate. When I was in eighth grade, choosing my high school classes for the first time, the thought of taking an art class to fulfill my credits early was not even on my mind. I was excited to be able to finally choose my electives. I ultimately ended up choosing to take astronomy and Introduction to Journalism, two classes that I was very interested in. 

It was not until meeting with my guidance counselor sophomore year that I realized that I had to take an art credit. That is when I started stressing.

it would truly relieve me of so much stress if I was no longer required to take an art class and was instead able to pursue one of my personal interests.

— Storey Ahl ’25

Why should we be forced to fulfill a credit for an area of study that we are not even interested in? Allowing for a student to choose what classes they take promotes academic independence and self-autonomy. According to the U.S. News and World Report, “students may use their elective slots to dive deeper into subjects beyond graduation requirements.” Elective courses are supposed to be taken because of interest, and should be available to students to pursue their own interests, not school requirements.

Though I do not know exactly what I want to pursue after high school, I know for a fact that it will not be related to art. According to Scoir, “high school is a time when you can explore different fields of study or topics of interest.” While I understand that taking an art class may be a way for some students to explore their interests, it should not be a required class for all students. 

Next semester, I plan to take an art class. If I was not required to do so, I would not only be stress-free about the situation, but I would be able to fulfill some of my other requirements, such as taking an area study. More importantly, it may allow me to pursue something that I may want to do after college, something that I could be doing for the rest of my life.

In a few months when it is time to choose my classes for my final year at Staples, it would truly relieve me of so much stress if I was no longer required to take an art class and was instead able to pursue one of my personal interests.



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About the Contributor
Storey Ahl ’25, Staff Writer
Staff Writer Storey Ahl ’25 enjoys playing field hockey and cooking, which both activities have prompted her to join Inklings.  “I plan on writing some food articles this year because it's one of my passions and I think that it is really interesting to learn about what other people are cooking as it inspires me,” Ahl said.  Ahl also values the surplus of new opportunities that Inklings brings, which also prompted her in joining the newspaper. “It’s a different type of writing than other English classes,” Ahl said. “I think it provides a new layer of experience to my writing.”

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