Students at Columbus High School will have five new courses to choose from in the 2017-18 school year and another three additions in 2018-19, if the School Board approves the proposed offerings outlined by Becky Schmidt, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction, at a meeting on Monday.
In the English department, Schmidt hopes to add a Communication Arts course that will help students with public speaking and the ability to communicate in a variety of professions and careers. Plans are for the course to be offered every year.
Other proposed additions to the course list are all in the agriscience program, which is being rebuilt after a yearlong hiatus in 2015-16.
Classes that are proposed for 2017-18 include Wisconsin Fish and Aquaculture, Greenhouse Management, Horticulture and Veterinary Science. Then in 2018-19, Biotechnology, Wisconsin Forestry and Wildlife and Landscaping would be added.
The new ag classes would be rotated and offered on an every-other-year schedule, until a trend in student requests would prove that there is a higher need, Schmidt said.
Schmidt and ag teacher Glenda Crook are also looking at “crosswalking” three of those classes — Vet Science, Horticulture and Biotechnology — to allow students to earn science equivalency credits for them. Biotechnology also has the potential to be developed for dual credit with Madison College.
A Food Science class, which is part of the ag department’s curriculum this year, has already been granted state approval to be offered as a science equivalent class.
“We’re really just trying to look to expand, both to make sure we have offerings in a variety of areas but also to give some advanced opportunities to students that maybe went through what we currently have,” Schmidt said.
The Board is expected to act on the course additions at its next meeting.