H-F adds six courses to 2018-19 curriculum

The District 233 school board approved six new courses for the coming school year.

Board member John Farrell said the changes and additions “reflect the ongoing effort to meet the needs of all the kids” at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. 

At the Dec. 19 board meeting, Nancy Spaniak, director of curriculum, instruction and professional development, outlined the changes for board members.

The new Computer Integrated Manufacturing course will replace Advanced Machine Tools and will better link the Project Lead the Way engineering program with H-F’s manufacturing program.

In the Early Childhood Education program, Child Development 2 will move from a one semester to a year-long course. Students completing this course will be certified in early childhood education “which means they can go right out and work in early childhood,” Spaniak explained. It also will help those who seek degrees in early children education.

State law is requiring the district to change the name of the English as a Second Language (ESL) course to English Language Learners (ELL) “but the reason we’re changing this is both (for) the name of the course and the rigor of the course,” Spaniak said.  It’s now an Academic Core Level course with credit in English, but the board approved changing it to a College Prep Level course “because of the rigors of the curriculum,” she noted. 

Within that ELL program, Spaniak proposed adding an ELL leadership component.  “We currently have student leaders in our seminar teaching/learning courses, PE (physical education) and Life Skills program and for AC (Academic Core) Algebra. This is very helpful for the students getting extra assistance in this class as well as for the students who become leaders,” Spaniak said, but the student leaders are not receiving credit for this work in the classroom. The change would create an opportunity for these student leaders to earn Honors Level credit.

With the success of the Chinese Mandarin language courses, H-F will add Mandarin 4, and Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate sections next year.

A new summer session Accelerated Spanish 1 Honors course will be offered for students coming to H-F as freshmen but who have not had Spanish at James Hart or Parker Junior High Schools.

Spaniak said the course will give students who have taken Spanish courses or those who are native speakers the opportunity to become proficient enough to earn credit so they can take Spanish 2 Honors when school starts in the fall.  

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