Courses will cover human anatomy, car maintenance, conflict resolution and forming and defending opinions

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BLOOMFIELD — Bloomfield’s alternative high school will have four new elective classes available to students in the spring, after the Bloomfield School District School Board approved the additions in a regular meeting this week.

Charlie Y. Brown High School’s new electives are anatomy and physiology, introduction to auto, mediation and values clarification.

The Bloomfield School Board unanimously approved the new courses at a regular meeting on Tuesday. Bloomfield School District Superintendent Kim Mizell said the district will spend approximately $500 for new curriculum materials.

“We can offer electives online, but this particular recommendation is to offer electives actually taught by a vocational teacher at the Charlie Y. Brown to add a little more options for the students,” Mizell said during the meeting.

CYB’s electives teacher Kristine Alexander said the new electives will give students “a little bit more reason to actually enjoy their classes.”

“It’s not going to be the same old, same old,” Alexander said during class on Thursday.

Introduction to auto teaches basic information about car ownership and maintenance, while mediation focuses on problem solving and conflict resolution, Alexander said. Values clarification is a debate class where students will explore everyday issues and discuss different perspectives, while developing and defending their own opinions.

Alexander, a second-year teacher with a vocational teaching degree, will teach introduction to auto, mediation and values clarification, and CYB science teacher Matthew Lujan will teach anatomy and physiology, which studies the major organ systems of the human body.

Alexander said she hopes to create a hands-on learning environment in the new elective classes, including making a vehicle available for demonstrations and practice to students in the auto class.

“I like the hands-on more and the technical type (classes),” Alexander said. “Let’s get their hands wet, let’s get into really seeing what it’s about. … I want to give them more than McDonald’s or Burger King. Some of our kids, that’s all that they see, so why not broaden their horizons?”

Alexander currently teaches two electives courses — employability skills and putting math to work. Because CYB is on a different schedule to accommodate its credit remediation program, the new electives will begin in the school’s third quarter after the winter break.

CYB Principal Adam Benavidez said having some diversity in curriculum is “extremely important.”

“It’s no different for an adult in their life,” Benavidez said. “When there’s diversity in your day, the days fly by and you seem to have a smile on your face when you aren’t stuck doing one task.”

Benavidez said he and Alexander are also discussing adding more electives to CYB’s course catalog next year, including driver’s education.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.

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