School Board Approves New Classes for SPASH
By Brandi Makuski
Several new high school classes have been added to next year’s school district guidebook.
Students at SPASH during the 2016-17 school year will be able to study digital marketing, bio-medical basics and advanced veterinary science, following unanimous approval by the Stevens Point School Board.
Kehl Arnson, director of secondary education for the district, said the list of proposed new courses- and changes to existing classes- came directly from student and teacher input, which were then reviewed by administration at SPASH, as well as Ben Franklin and P.J. Jacobs junior high schools.
New classes include: Yearbook; Social Media and E-Marketing; Principles of Bio-medical Sciences; Advanced Veterinary Science; and Independent Math, also know as “ALEKS” (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces), which is a web-based, artificially-intelligent assessment and learning system.
“ALEKS helps identify strengths and weaknesses within a students’ own learning and then targets instruction at those particular areas,” Arnson said, adding the program was already showing “great success” in other local schools. The math program would be available to freshmen students, who are housed at the junior high schools.
The other new programs, he said, were designed to better prepare students for a “changing world” with an increase of employers seeking digital-savvy workers.
The board also approved small changes to various other secondary courses involving business, career-readiness, computer animation and HTML, a language of words and symbols used to communicate with computers.
“This was so much fun to read, I really applaud the teachers who put this together,” said Board Member Trish Baker of the class proposals. “The bio-medical course really stood out for me as innovative.”
A rundown of the bio-medical course, which offers students an introduction to medical science, as well as all other new class descriptions, can be found in the district’s guide book, which will be published in December.