The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 17, 2013

Principal: Changes coming to Joplin High School course catalog, schedule

JOPLIN, Mo. — Course offerings and scheduling in the new Joplin High School are expected to be more fluid and available in multiple formats when the building opens in August.

Principal Kerry Sachetta, in a presentation Tuesday night to the Board of Education, said the changes will allow students to explore their college and career opportunities, and give them the chance to earn college credit while still in school.

Although an updated course catalog won’t be available until the spring, it is expected to include 105 new or revised course offerings, 19 of which will be new dual-credit classes offered in conjunction with Missouri Southern State University or Crowder College, he said.

Sachetta said the high school is working to strengthen its partnerships with those two institutions to be able to provide even more programs and courses for college credit over the next few years.

The high school will also feature a new modified block schedule, which will be a combination of a traditional schedule with seven or eight periods per day for three days each week along with extended class periods for two days each week, Sachetta said.

He said students will also be able to take “personalized learning experiences,” which are independent studies that can occur in school, after school or in the community; zero hour, a class period offered before the start of the traditional school day; online courses taught by high school faculty members; and “blended” courses, which combine in-class instruction with an online component.

Sachetta said the scheduling changes are designed to provide flexibility to students and their families.

High school students will also be encouraged to take classes in one of five career pathways: business and information technology, human services, technical sciences, health sciences and arts/communication. The new school is designed to support this approach, with each wing of the building housing classes for a different career path.

In other business Tuesday night, the board reviewed and approved a “clean” audit of the district’s 2012-13 academic year, which was conducted by the Joplin accounting firm Mense, Churchwell and Mense. Board members also approved a $24,875 purchase of equipment for “learning labs” at East Middle School and Soaring Heights Elementary School, and an $80,000 purchase of two new copiers.

School board candidacy

Incumbents Randy Steele and Jeff Flowers, and challengers Shawn McGrew, Lynda Banwart, Jeffry N. Koch, David L. Guilford and Debbie Fort filed Tuesday as candidates for the Board of Education in the April 8 election, during which there will be three 3-year terms open. Incumbent Phil Willcoxon, who has served on the board since 2008, said he would not seek re-election. The filing period closes Jan. 21.

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