Archive for Thursday, December 15, 2005

High school curriculum to expand

Advanced placement, vocational courses on tap

December 15, 2005

Under a plan prepared by district staff, De Soto High School students will be able to take additional advanced and vocational courses in the next five years.

Last week, the district's curriculum director updated the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education on several courses the district hopes to offer as part of a five-year plan. The courses include accounting, honors chemistry, advanced placement U.S. History, home mechanics and sports and entertainment marketing.

Director of Learning Services Bret Church said the courses would be offered depending on interest and available funds. He said staff decisions made in February and March would help the district determine if the courses would be available.

"By the board approving these courses, we can offer them if the schedule permits and if there's adequate staff," he said.

Church said the district's goal in offering more advanced courses is to offer more opportunities to students, regardless of the size of the school.

"We're expanding course offerings to meet needs of the community," he said. "This is not simply a reflection of growth as much as it is to have more options for the student."

Church said many of the courses could double for college credit.

"Our students are always looking for ways to get concurrent credit that will count and colleges will accept," he said. "AP courses are one way to do that."

Church said the vocational courses, such as accounting and home mechanics, were recommended by the community.

"Our business community strongly encouraged our district to reinstitute an accounting and marketing program," he wrote. "This course will introduce students to the principals and procedures needed to begin careers in accounting."

Church said a home mechanics course would help future homeowners and sports marketing had been offered in several schools around the state. Sports marketing would be offered through the business and computers department.

Kevin Crisp, science instructor at De Soto High School, said the school would like to offer advanced placement biology next year.

"We'll be teaching the same curriculum, but there will be more depth and outside requirements," he said. "Such as in honors biology -- each student has to do their own independent research project."

Crisp said advanced chemistry would also help De Soto students in college.

"We wanted to be able to offer them classes that would be more challenging to them and make them better prepared for college," he said.

Advanced placement U.S. History would be offered to students in their junior year. DHS already offers advanced placement U.S. government and politics for seniors.

Other course additions suggested for Mill Valley High School include accounting, home mechanics and child development II.

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