Innovative Westwood curriculum allows students to choose classes based on interest

WESTWOOD, MASS. (WHDH) - While many students are winding down the school year, Westwood High School is gearing up.

The last five days of school, known as “J-Term,” allow the kids to choose an intensive week-long course on a subject they are interested in.

“J-Term” is the brainchild of Westwood Superintendent Emily Parks who also teaches the photography course.

“It was something that I dreamed up many years ago,” Parks said.

She says her idea was an easy sell to the district.

“I didn’t have to force it at all actually. That is what is great about the faculty here,” she said.

This is the second year the high school has adopted the innovative curriculum change.

One student said he is taking weight lifting and nutrition this year but last year he elected to take a course on car detailing that snowballed into a small business venture over the summer break.

“Yeah, like a second job,” he said. “It was just extra money I guess.”

Most of the students at Westwood High say more schools should have programs like “J-Term.”

“I didn’t think that I could learn so much in so like, little time,” one student said.

Scuba diving, guitar, and yoga classes were all on the menu this year.

“The feeling of breathing underwater, it’s like nothing else really,” another student said.

The students also have the option to learn outside the classroom on mountain hikes and geology walks.

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