Converting a world history course to a half-year elective continues to draw the ire of Ridgefield High School students.Four students spoke in protest of plans to change Global I from a full-year class to semester-long course at the Jan. 28 Board of Education meeting. The change, which was enacted by the board in the fall as part of new graduation requirements for high school students, will affect all Ridgefield High graduating classes going forward beginning with next year\u2019s freshman class of 2023.\u201cWe are here to work with you and not against you,\u201d said freshman Hersha Chauhan told board members.While students are not technically required to take Global I to graduate from RHS, it is currently the only social studies course available to freshmen who are slotted to graduate during the 2021-22 school year. Most students choose to take Global I as freshmen to help fulfill the required 3.5 social studies credits for graduation, Chauhan told the board.Students who graduate in the class of 2023 will be required to take 2.5 credits of social studies to graduate.\u201cNot only does this class teach you about the cultures, religions, and history of other countries, it builds up skills that you will need for the rest of high school,\u201d she said. \u201cJust in the first half of the year, Global 1 has developed my writing skills, taught me annotating, geographic skills, and questioning skills.\u201dMore history earlier?As part of the graduation requirement change, the schools have added an extra year of world history for sixth grade students.Chauhan\u2019s freshman classmate Anshuman Suryawanshi, who originally protested the cuts to the course at the Jan. 14 board meeting, said that that extra year of history for middle school students is \u201cadmirable.\u201d He argued at the Jan. 28 hearing that high school students would still benefit more from a year-long course.\u201cI kid you not when I say that it\u2019s like asking a fifth-grader to read The Iliad,\u201d Suryawanshi said.Finn Cronin, also a freshman, said that the semester-long course would offer students a \u201cdumbed-down\u201d curriculum.\u201cWe\u2019re being left to fill in the blanks of our origins with biased media outlets that are historically inaccurate and push their agendas onto us,\u201dQuestions and answersThree other high school-aged students were in the audience, but it was unclear if they were in support of the students protesting the cut to Global I.Junior Matthew Sorgie said the board needs to see the students\u2019 perspective on the cuts, and that students are hoping for a \u201cstronger dialogue\u201d with the board.\u201cRight now, there are too many questions that have not been answered,\u201d he told the board.\u2018Foundations of the Modern World\u2019The student-led protest garnered some discussion among the school board members during their presentation on curriculum spending for the 2019-20 school year budget.Scott Robert, chair of the guidance counseling department for the high school, said that Global I is not a graduation requirement.\u201cThey are required to meet three-and-a-half credits in social studies,\u201d he said, arguing that students could meet the required credits without taking the course.Robert said incoming freshmen students \u2014 the ones who will graduate in 2023 and beyond \u2014 will have six different options for social studies, \u201cone of which is going to be a semester-long version of Global I that is offered now.\u201dThe shortened version of Global I will be renamed \u201cFoundations of the Modern World,\u201d he said.Board member Sharon D\u2019Orso said that under the new graduation requirements \u201cwe actually do now require a world history class to graduate.\u201dThe school\u2019s World History II course includes teaching on genocide and the Holocaust, which is now a graduation requirement for incoming freshman next year mandated by the state.\u201cWill the world history class also incorporate history that is non-Western?\u201d asked board Secretary Kathleen Holz. \u201cThat\u2019s what our children were really responding to.\u201dBoard member Fran Walton said the school\u2019s AP World History does.Board member Jonathan Steckler said the additional course choices offered to students \u201care all positive,\u201d but that students felt like \u201cthey were left out of the conversation.\u201d\u201cI appreciate the students\u2019 passion for the subject,\u201d Walton said.