Boards approves 11 new courses for Rock Hill high school students

Emergency medical services two. Multimedia. Fine arts appreciation.

They sound like college classes, but these and other new courses may be offered next year in Rock Hill high schools.

The Rock Hill school board on Monday approved a list of 11 new courses to include in next year's course catalog, although minimum enrollment must be met for each class to become a reality.

"I think these are superb ideas," board member Jason Silverman said.

Sheila Huckabee, director of secondary education, said the courses are designed to complement academic courses and to keep students from enrolling in study hall.

"These are to bolster the other four courses you have to take," she said.

New courses are added to the catalog almost every year, district spokeswoman Elaine Baker said after the meeting.

Baker said some students use study hall productively to work on homework, but others could be better served in additional academic courses.

"They want them to take some kind of course that they feel will help them later in college or in their workplace or in life," Baker said.

Board member Jim Vining cast the lone vote against the proposal. He said he didn't support additional total body classes, similar to physical education classes, that are part of the new course package.

Superintendent Lynn Moody defended total body, saying some students would simply enroll in study hall if total body was not offered all four years.

Vining disagreed.

"If there are kids who cannot find a subject they'd like to take besides study hall, than there's something wrong," he said.

The new electives will be coupled with a new sequence for academic courses at the high school level.

Beginning next year, students will take math tech one and two their freshman year. With the district's block scheduling, students take four courses each semester, rather than taking classes for a full year.

The new sequence will eliminate up to a one-year lapse for students taking math. It also will give students who fail the course an opportunity to take it again the second semester of their freshman year, rather than waiting until the beginning of the next year.

The same will be done with English one and English essentials courses.

This sequence was piloted at Northwestern as a way to help students raise test scores.

It also ensures that students are exposed to all the math concepts covered on the High School Assessment Program test before they take it in the 10th grade.

Reassignment maps approved

Also at Monday's meeting, the board approved school reassignment maps that will affect more than 3,000 elementary, middle and high school students next school year.

Board members Mildred Douglas and Ann Reid voted against the elementary and high school maps. The middle school map was approved unanimously.