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School Board adds 6 new high-school courses

BY ALAN TOUSSAINT | NOVEMBER 29, 2010 7:20 AM

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Local high-school students and school officials say the addition of six new classes at City High and West High will help provide more equal opportunities for students at both schools.

After a 4-2 vote at the last School Board meeting, on Nov. 23, City and West High will add four new classes, with City tacking on two additional new courses, said board Vice President Mike Cooper.

One of the reasons behind the new courses was the discrepancy in science classes offered at the schools, he said.

School Board members had been approached a year ago by parents at City High who were concerned students at West had more opportunities to take science classes than did their children.

"This is an effort to keep up with the times, with adding new courses and the needs of students," said West High junior Caroline Van Voorhis.

Adding the new classes allows students at both schools to explore career options, students and parents said.

"It's good that the schools are expanding the classes for students overall," said Bridget Novak, a senior at West High.

More class options will allow students to learn more about their interests, said City High parent Nancy Jones.

"The students have their own opinion on what they want to take," she said.

Van Voorhis' mother, Toni Van Voorhis, said the new classes are beneficial.

"It certainly makes sense to add classes that are relevant to today's world and also eliminate those that few of our students choose to take," she said.

The courses approved by the School Board include a program by Project Lead the Way called Digital Electronics, a pharmaceutical academy, a building construction systems I academy, and advanced online media.

In addition to those courses, City High will have a service-learning class and an Aggression Replacement Training class to assist students in the development of personal skills necessary to excel in school and life, according to the board's meeting agenda.

Caroline Van Voorhis said it would be a great opportunity to add the Advanced Online media class because she feels it would be a great opportunity to expand the Westside Story, the West High newspaper.

"If we have a whole class devoted to working on the website, then we could improve the website more than we already have this year," she said.

City High student Mike Hunter said having specialized classes benefits students.

"Students would want a career in pharmacy and would want to focus on one thing," he said.

Ultimately, more classes can help with decisions for the future, Novak said.

"It seems that the courses introduces students to different career opportunities," she said. "It would open the students' eyes on what they want to do in the future."


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