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Monday, May 2, 2016

Local educators work to maintain standards

Monday, December 12, 2005

With the state of Indiana pushing school corporations to improve student achievements by raising the bar on educational standards for graduation, local educators are constantly looking at the classes offered to ensure the curriculum standard is maintained.

Curriculum Director Kathy Knust updated the Clay Community School Board of Trustees at Thursday evening's board meeting.

"I appreciate the opportunity to meet with the Central Curriculum Committee. This committee provides an excellent public forum for which to respectfully discuss educational issues, review curricular offerings, and share concerns," she said of the curriculum review process. "The input from the committee members is most valuable as we strive to provide quality programs for our students."

Throughout the year the superintendent, curriculum coordinator, principals, counselors and teachers prepare an upcoming course list for review.

The Central Curriculum Committee then makes recommendations on this course list for the Clay Community School Board of Trustees final vote.

The 40-member committee is made up of the curriculum coordinator, principals, counselors, teachers, students and parents to insure a wide assortment of opinion while paying special attention to student enrollment and interest while considering course changes.

On Nov. 30, 29 committee members met at Forest Park Elementary to review new Indiana graduation requirements, make recommendations regarding the corporation's weighted grades policy and vote to accept or reject new high school course requests and description changes.

The group unanimously agreed to make changes effecting the 2006-07 Course Description Booklets for Clay City High School and Northview High School.

Changes in the wording of more than 100 courses to meet the Indiana Department of Education required changes were made by the group, while six courses which are offered every-other-year because of past low enrollment were also changed because of stronger recent interest by students.

Seven courses, four for both high schools and three at Northview, were dropped from the curriculum because they were replaced by other courses that had low enrollment, better met or were no longer supported by the new state standards.

Three courses were added to the curriculum because they better suited the needs of students or met the new graduation guidelines.

A minute difference of opinion occurred in the matter of weighted grades, with a vote of 28 to one recommending to dissolve the policy.

"It's been a problem we've looked at for three years," Knust said of the policy that was put in place to encourage student participation in the more difficult classes. "There has been no significant growth in these classes with the weighted grade policy."

The Clay Community School Board of Trustees unanimously voted to do away with the grading policy with the incoming 2006 freshmen classes at the two high schools. Freshmen students through students in the junior class now using the weighted grade policy will continue to do so until their graduation date.

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