Ridgefield High School might be seeing fewer thespian graduates who have dreams of making it as a musician while holding down a job as an accountant, interior decorating on the side, and all while moonlighting as a chef.

Acting, accounting, and advanced culinary arts were just a few of the 18 classes the school pulled this year after low course enrollment.

“We offer over 200 courses, and when you put in the numerous sections of each course, Jarret’s working with 970 sections” Principal Stacey Gross told the Board of Education during a recent meeting.

Out of 13,000 student requests, Gross said over 97 percent of students got their first choice of course.

But some courses didn’t make the cut after students took a pass at the course offerings.

Among the 18 courses were Advanced Acting and Acting II, Music Tech and Composition I&2 (both half-year courses), Accounting II and Advanced Accounting III, and Interior Design II (a half-year course).

Gross’s report included courses that didn’t run last year due to low enrollment as well.

“We wanted to show you two years so that you could see some courses didn’t run last year but are running this year based on student requests, and vice-versa,” she told the board.

Gender studies

Gender Studies was also among the classes that didn’t make the cut this year.

The course was among the new offerings approved by the board last November. It was restricted to seniors and juniors, and would have had students learn about gender identity and power dynamics, and discuss how activists approach gender inequality.

Board member Tracey O’Connor, who originally questioned whether the class would serve a “minority” of students in November, asked how many people signed up to take the course.

“We’re not going to give you specific numbers for every one, that would take us hours to do” said Gross. “It wasn’t enough — based on your number, 16 — to run.”

She said the school had completed the curriculum work on the class, and could possibly offer it again another year.

Gender Studies was one of the two social studies courses that didn’t run. American Studies, a college-level English and Social Studies offering, was also held back, the second year in a row it has not been offered. Gross said an honors-level version of that course did run.

Music and theater

The school’s visual and performing arts department had the most dropped courses, with eight cancelled due to low enrollment. For some of the courses, it was the second year they didn’t run — both Music Tech and Composition classes, Modern and Contemporary Art (a half year course), Art History (also a half-year offering), and Costume and Makeup Design were all held back last year as well.

Gross noted that although Music Tech and Composition has not run for “many years,” the school was able to renovate its music lab this year, and is letting students know its open to use.

“That opens music up to a whole group of students who possibly aren’t into the performance arts,” said Gross.

Board member Fran Walton asked whether visual and performing arts courses had been affected by students no longer being required to take an arts credit in order to graduate.

“But Music Theory I and II are running this year and AP Music Theory are running this year and they hadn’t run last year,” said Gross. “Music staffing went up.”

Family and Consumer Science

The school Business and Family and Consumer Science departments also saw a number of courses dropped due to low enrollment. Along with the two accounting courses, too few students students signed up for Marketing II, and Computer App II (half-year). In Family and Consumer Science, Fashion: Art, History, Life was dropped along with the interior design and advanced culinary arts courses.

It’s the second year running where not enough students sign up to take Interior Design II and Advanced Culinary Arts.

Gross said that if a student’s first choice course does not run, students are typically shifted into their second choice course instead.

Board member Jim Keidel asked how the school determines when to no longer offer a course for good, but Gross explained that because the courses are approved by the board, her staff does not permanently delete a course offering — they only take it out of the course catalog for the time being.

“It’s kind of like when you’re selling a house and you get the recommendation, ‘take it off the market for a couple years, and then put it back on,’” Gross said.