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Hartland School Board Approves Curriculum Changes for 2012-13

Hartland High School is adding courses and requirements to students' schedules, including a statewide mandate for two years of world language classes.

Classes will be added and among the changes announced Monday to the  curriculum are new classes that were designed to challenge and enhance the education of students within the Hartland Consolidated School District

Starting next fall, all incoming freshman will be required to take two years of a world language, such as French, German or Spanish, to complete the graduation requirements for the Michigan Merit Curriculum

The board voted unanimously on the changes and all will take place in the 2012-2013 school year.

“It’s a global society, a global market,” said Hartland High School Principal Chuck Hughes. “We feel it’s necessary to be bilingual. That’s the reason why it's (language requirement) there — to make sure that that our students become more marketable beyond high school.”

Implementation of the world language requirement is a statewide change, which means that Hartland High School expects an additional 850 students to be enrolling in world language classes. With such a large increase, the administration recommended the school create an honors and non-honors curriculum for language courses.

By creating this two-pronged system, students will be divided into two categories: those who take the language to fulfill their graduation requirement, and others who may choose to continue with the language as a preferred elective beyond the two-year requirement.

Also being discussed are the potential scheduling conflicts the new language requirement may have on students' course loads. During the Jan. 9 school board meeting, Hughes addressed possible challenges, saying that the administration may have to consider more creative scheduling options for students. No solid ideas have been discussed, however, since Hughes said the staff will make decisions after seeing what students register for.

“We’re going to wait until we get all the results for what students want to take in school next year, and then put together a package and a plan,” he said.

Other options, such as sign language courses, are also being considered to help fulfill the new requirement. But any way it is achieved, Hughes said succeeding in this requirement will only enhance the student’s education.

“Life is challenging, and here’s another challenge,” Hughes said. “If you succeed and challenge yourself, you’ll do all right and come out of it with a skill, hopefully, and another piece to add to your repertoire.” 

Other changes to the curriculum include:

  • Addition of Health Occupations II: Emergency Medical Service.
  • Creating an expectation that humanities students also take the advanced-placement U.S. history exam.
  • Dividing up Architectural Drafting and Mechanical Drafting into a four-course series.
hartland eagle January 25, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Online is a poor substitute for a live class. The state isn't paying $7500+ a student for our kids to get online classes.
Teresa January 27, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Not that learning a language is a bad thing, but with all the other graduation requirements, I just wonder where is there room for individuality? The current requirements are 4 years of both Math and English, 3 years of both Science and History, a semester each of P.E., Health, and a Fine Arts class. Add to this 2 years of a foreign language, and that leaves room for 6 1/2 electives. If the student wants to take band or choir, that leaves room for only 2 1/2 electives. How are they supposed to decide what they want to do with their lives if they are never allowed to make any choices, or explore things that they may not otherwise be exposed to?
SpartyPants January 29, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Drop French and German- bring in Mandarin and Arabic
hartland eagle January 29, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Explore away in extracurricular activities. Our schools are way behind globally. This language thing is good, but hardly enough. Why only 3 years of science and history, for example....
Rob Lauzon February 03, 2012 at 06:13 PM
its not that we are behind any country in education we are different. I taught in Japan in 2000 which is similar to a European model. All students get a basic education. In 9th grade they take a test which determines if they will go to a high, middle or low achieving high school or into a trade school. Once on this track there is no changing. In order to do well on this test parents must pay for night classes in Science, Math and English. It is up to the students to do well lon the test. In the US a student can drop out, get a GED, to to a 4 year college and get a doctorate. The difference is that we blame the teachers and schools for students poor perfomance on the MEAP. Students performance on the MEAP is meaningless, nothing happens to them. Our system allows for movement and for students and people to fail and succeed at their pace.

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