Alta High School will be increasing the number of credits required for graduation, beginning with the class of 2008. In looking at high schools of comparable size, it was brought to the attention of a committee made up of teachers and high school principal Larry Martin that the number of required credits varies from 40-56 hours. Alta High School will make the jump from 44 to 48, the school board approved Monday.
Prior to graduation, high school, credits in these areas will be fulfilled:
* Language Arts - seven credits (English I, English II, composition or creative writing)
* Science - four credits (physical science, biology)
* Mathematics - four credits
* Social Studies - six credits (American history I or government)
* Computers - 1 credit - (word processing, computer applications, programming, yearbook)
* Fine Arts - 1 credit (art, band or choir)
* Vocational - three credits (vocational agriculture, industrial technology, business or family and consumer science)
* Physical Education - four credits (if possible)
* Health - 1 credit
* Freshman Seminar - 1 credit
* Electives - 16 credits
The board will review the required courses of study on an annual basis.
The school board will make a decision on new science curriculum for the elementary and middle school students based on a presentation by middle school teacher Kevin Hammer and first grade teacher Cari Friedrich. Full Option Science System (FOSS) is a new hands-on way to teach science that the teachers would like to see brought to these lower grades.
If the board doesn't agree to the hefty sum for the new science program, new text books will need to be purchased; that cost could be nearly as much as the FOSS materials.
When purchased, the kits contain all the materials needed for the experiments the students will have the chance to perform. The kits would need to be replenished, with many ordinary things, each year and the board could budget for those items.
Hammer said he and Kate Westphal had the chance to visit Sioux City schools using FOSS and were impressed; especially with the idea that the students don't have to sit around and watch as the teacher does the experiments. "This get everyone involved."
The board will make a decision at its May 10 meeting so that materials may be ordered and the teachers can look them over and perhaps take part in some training during the summer.
District technology needs were discussed. A survey of the staff and students reveals that one of the most asked for needs is to expand the high school computer lab. The current lab could be enlarged to hold more computers.
The board approved a new contract for Deb Hanson to be the head of food services beginning next school at a cost of $17,500. She had been parttime in the kitchen for the last few years.
Roger Peterson will serve as a junior high girls assistant coach. He will be volunteering his time for this position.
A resignation was accepted from Rolen Snyder who had served as a custodian for the past five years and from Mike Green as girls basketball coach.
The board also approved a 5/10 At Risk position at the high school and agreed to the addition of one more day of guidance at the elementary school being taught by Bev Mach.
The board again discussed how the funds from the sales tax dollars will be used. Keeping the technology areas current, making plumbing repairs at the elementary school and replacing the roof at the Roxy Theater are at the top of the list.