Freshmen trial Ethnic Studies Class a year before requirement


Ethnic Studies will be the required freshmen history class next school year.

Derin Degerli, Social Media Manager

The Ethnic Studies class, which explores historic issues within American racial and ethnic groups, is currently being piloted. Next school year, it’ll become the required freshman history class. 

Dr. Julie Yick, head of the Ethnic Studies board and one of two Ethnic Studies teachers at school, said she and other Ethnic Studies teachers have worked extremely hard to create a class that represents all races, identities, and ethnicities. 

Freshman Jayden Wilde said he decided to take the Ethnic Studies class after learning about it from a presentation in his eighth-grade history class.

“[Ethnic Studies] tackles issues that are more relevant right now,” Wilde said. 

The Ethnic Studies class explores historic issues within American racial and ethnic groups.

The mission and guiding principles of the course were developed by a task force – teachers from Mountain View and Los Altos – who came together in preparation for this year’s pilot. 

“It’s exciting to work with teachers who are really passionate about teaching, eager to learn, and just working really hard to teach this new course for the first time,” Yick said. Her interest in ethnic studies stems from her doctorate research on the subject. 

Freshman Jamie Santoyo-Nerio, said they opted for the Ethnic Studies class because previous history classes they had taken did not focus on current events. Santoyo-Nerio said their eighth-grade history class mainly focused on “certain ethnicities and topics.” For example, they said the Mexican-American war was covered in only three days.

“It’s very empowering to see people of color fight for what they believe in,” freshman Tobi Roper said. 

Roper heard about the Ethnic Studies class from his sister but said he ultimately chose the course because of his multiracial background and the lack of indigenous coverage in previous history classes. He said he enjoys learning the different perspectives surrounding an issue in class.

“We’re one of the first classes ever to take it so it’s just really exciting,” Santoyo-Nerio said.