At the Jan. 14 Jonathan Alder Board of Education meeting, high school administrators presented the board with plans to redesign curriculum offerings and activities to better prepare graduates for today’s work field. Implementation will begin at the ninth- grade level at the start of the 2008-2009 school year.
The goal of the new curriculum design is “to increase rigor and relevance to grow students more than average and prepare them for the future.” Changes in the other grade levels will take place over the next few years. The 12-grade curriculum is slated for modification at the start of the 2009-2010 school year.
Initial goals for the ninth-grade curriculum change include a commitment to graduate all freshmen academically to the 10th grade and to establish conditions early in the freshman year to prevent academic failure, monitor attendance and behavior, and intervene before problems become consistent for students. The plan also includes motivating all ninth-graders to participate in at least one extracurricular or co-curricular activity and involve junior and senior students as mentors to assist ninth-graders and encourage their academic success.
Parents of district eighth-grade students are scheduled to receive information about the curriculum redesign in February.
In other business the board approved on second reading a revised district policy on student bullying, harassment and intimidation and a revised policy on student behavior. The changes meet new state recommendations regarding bullying problems that take place electronically.
Bichsel elected board president
Prior to the regular board meeting, Tom Bichsel and Linda Beachy were elected as president and vice-president, respectively, during the board’s annual reorganization meeting. Bichsel is serving his second consecutive year as board president; Beachy has served as president and vice president in the past.
The reorganization meeting included appointments of board members to committees as follows: Tolles Technical and Career Center board, Dr. John Adams; facilities, Adams; technology, Beachy; legislative, Steve Votaw; and continuous improvement, Chris Blacka.
The board further approved the year’s regular meeting times and dates. The group meets at 7 p.m. in the board’s conference room, No. 228, at the high school on the second Monday of each month. The exception is the November meeting, when they will meet on the third Monday.
Board members will be compensated $80 per meeting they attend, up to a maximum of 13 meetings, including the annual all county board meeting.
The board will meet next in regular session at 7 p.m. on Feb. 11 in the board’s conference room at Jonathan Alder High School.