School board approves course guide

JERSEY SHORE — With few additions or changes to classes being offered, the Jersey Shore Area School Board approved the 2020-21 High School Course Guide.

Steven Keen, principal at the high school, detailed some of the changes to the curriculum for the board.

“The only classes that were added, we added a technical English class to support our CT students for communications type things, the CAD program that we’re hoping to build up,” Keen told the board.

The CAD, or computer-aided design, program at Jersey Shore had been part of an engineering program which was removed from course offerings a few years ago, Keen said.

“That is a big chunk of what a lot of the CTE programs need, that employers are asking for, and we don’t have that anymore,” Keen stressed.

“So, we’re trying to find a way to not necessarily get the whole program back, but a class so that our students can get that skill back,” he added.

Other changes in the curriculum for the next school year, include returning to a four-year schedule for English.

“After ninth grade we had a lot of half-semester, or semester-based classes and we’re going to tighten that up with Grade 10 English, we’re going to start with that and progress as we go through,” Keen said.

Keen said that the reasoning behind the changes was that the contents can be taught in a four-year class with teachers deciding how to teach them.

“Semester-based classes in our scheduling system is a nightmare,” Keen explained.

Other items that were adjusted, according to the principal, were two in the CTE program. Students currently have an industrial technologies rotation where they rotate through four of the main programs for a nine-week period. Keen said that students had requested other options so the district decided to expand to seven options and students still choose four, so that it is still a one-year, one-period class.

“For instance, they may not be interested in automotive and they want more business. We’re providing more options there,” Keen said.

Another change made to scheduling, the district is taking a period of a three-period block and creating a flex period in order to give students more opportunities to meet the task list for career and technical education.

“It does provide a little more flexibility and opportunity for our students,” Keen said.

Approval of the new course guide by the board was necessary in order to allow students time to schedule classes for next year. The vote came at the board’s meeting Monday.