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.