School board hears curriculum reports

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 10/21/97.

The Paynesville Area School Board heard department curriculum reports at their Tuesday night meeting. Departments appearing before the board were communications, vocational, science, art, and physical education.

Marlys Sorenson, elementary leader for communications, said they were looking at a new curriculum that would offer something more concrete and helpful for elementary students in achieving graduation standards. Deb Gillman, middle school communications leader, said they are looking at four areas to improve upon: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Amy Flanders, high school communications leader, told the board they would like to adjust the curriculum to include global literature. ďIt is difficult to find appropriate cultural material,Ē she added.

Jim Hahn, vocational chairperson, outlined the yearly goals for the vocational department, which includes agriculture, business, industrial tech, family and consumer science and land transportation.

The art departmentís goals were more involvement in three-dimensional work, more ďhands-onĒ resources, the need for additional teacher resources, and to host an in-service for elementary staff, Carol Lura, art department chair, told the board.

Dick Realdsen, physical education, said their department was in the evaluate and adjust phase and that they were working on teacher outcomes and needed materials.

The science department chairs all agreed there is not enough time to cover the necessary material to meet graduation standards. ďWhat do you eliminate in order to reach the standards?Ē they asked the board. Tim Woehler, middle school science, said he canít cover everything necessary in earth science and the course isnít offered in the high school.

Gary Haglund, high school science, said he would also like to expand class offerings to reach more students. ďWe could throw out some programs and aim strictly at graduation standards, but that would hurt some students who need alternatives to regular science.Ē John Janotta, high school principal, said there are ways of adding more science to the curriculum but it would require additional staffing.

It was discussed but no date was set for a special meeting be held just to talk about the graduation standards and the problems various areas are experiencing covering the materials.

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