In focusing more on science, technology, engineering and math courses, Beloit’s middle schools will have to let go of some of its more traditional courses.
The Beloit School District Board of Education approved six new technology courses for middle schoolers at its Nov. 27 meeting — digital media arts, Web 2.0, Spanish for Spanish speakers, 21st century communications, forensic science and financial literacy. However the adoption of the six new courses eliminated two other courses — family and consumer education and technology education. The six new courses are set to begin for middle schoolers next fall.
Assistant Superintendent Lynee Tourdot said the new courses prepare students in science, technology engineering and math, and the revamped technology education course will feed students into the soon-to-be-revamped high school vocational arts program that can lead to high paying 21st century jobs. While family and consumer education will be going away permanently at the middle school level, Tourdot said the district is likely to re-introduce a revamped technology education to the middle schools next year once it’s reevaluated to be more compatible with 21st century job skills.
“It will be coming back in a revised version,” Tourdot said.
Board of Education President Shannon Scharmer said the two middle school courses already have been approved for deletion, and the grades 6-12 technology department master plan may be reviewed for discussion with action taken in an upcoming board meeting. At that time, she said the impact and any questions regarding the deletion of the two courses would be discussed further. Scharmer said she wants to ensure that courses selected for middle schoolers are engaging and transition well into the high school classes.
Tourdot explained the new middle school schedule offers more opportunities for electives, and the district wants to ensure it’s moving students toward courses in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as careers in areas of high need such as manufacturing.
She said the new course line-up is high quality and offers high interest for students. Although the new courses require a high level of thinking, she said it’s adaptable to different academic levels and will really stretch kids educationally.
Source: Beloit Daily News