New classes at AHS offer students unique learning experiences


Photo by Tessa Guthrie

The entrance of Aspen High School taken on February 17.

Aspen High School offers a wide variety of classes for students to choose from thanks to the help of Jolaine Pfeifer, registrar at AHS. These classes range from an IB Lit and Lang class to a self defense class.

The principal of AHS, Sarah Strassburger, explains what these new classes are and what they mean.

“Lang and Lit is more modern [than IB literature], so it looks at language, and it defines literature text more loosely. So for example, you might be analyzing a podcast or you might be analyzing political cartoons,” Strassburger said.

Strassburger also emphasized the analytical differences between a modern lit class and IB.

“In addition to novels [Lang and Lit included], plays and poems, whereas IB Literature is all traditional literature. So those are the differences you know, maybe somebody who doesn’t like doesn’t love reading and writing literary analysis might enjoy Lang and Lit more, but there’s still analysis. The texts are a little different,” Strassburger explained.

If there are students who have an interest in the literature side of learning Spanish, AHS now offers a new IB Spanish class.

“IB Spanish. A is actually the study of literature in Spanish. So it is for people whose first language is Spanish and whose second language is English. So, for example, when people take IB Diploma. They have to take a language course but it’s about language acquisition. But if you do so technically English would be their language acquisition so kids now will be able to take the study of literature in their primary language. So that’s new, which is really cool and then they can also earn the bilingual IB Diploma, which was really cool,” Strassburger explained.

AHS is now even offering a self defense class but COVID has caused some restrictions regarding the class.

“So we have something called self defense. Training was gonna be something different but we couldn’t do it because of COVID. It required partnership with other adults coming in, and we just can’t do that with COVID. So the self defense training is going to be getting strong, and then understanding some of those athletic moves that would be used in a self defense scenario.” Strassburger was sure to include the restrictions on this class because of COVID.

Strassburger explains why the self defense class will be less than they hoped for.

“Obviously you can’t do real dedicated self defense because I can’t have you can’t have kids that close or like, actually, you know, hitting each other or throwing each other so it’ll be learning a few moves, but it’ll definitely be a workout, which is good,” Strassburger explained.

And lastly, there is a class called multiculturalism in America that is for people who are interested in American history.

“Multiculturalism in America is taught by Tameria Wilson in the Social Studies Department. The idea here was obviously to have a broader understanding of what the melting pot, that is the United States, right, that it’s not just US history, the way that it’s been taught but there’s this whole lens of multiculturalism so who are all different people the immigrant experience and how does that create our country and our culture,” Strassburger explained.

There is also a class that you can take for getting a yoga certification.

“One student has taken yoga one, and yoga two, then they can sign up for this year long yoga certifications so they actually have to amass a certain number of hours. They have to teach yoga, they have to train, and when they’re done, they could go work it out too. So it’s pretty cool,” Sarah explained.