The 2014-15 catalog of new and revised courses for students at Joplin High School and Franklin Technology Center is ready for review by the Board of Education.
The updated curriculum, which will be considered by the board at its meeting tonight, reflects the school district’s shift to a model of preparing high school students for college courses or a career in one of five identified career pathways: business and information technology, arts and communication, technical sciences, health sciences, and human services.
Several new courses are designed to introduce students to these career fields. For example, administrators are adding a sports medicine course next year that will serve as an introductory course for students interested in health care fields. That is expected to be followed with the addition of a second-year sports medicine class in 2015-16, and a third-year class along with a practicum course in 2016-17, according to the proposed curriculum.
English classes also are getting a makeover. Some courses will emphasize a particular career field in addition to covering the state learning standards associated with language arts for each grade level. Courses called English I and II: STEM, for example, will incorporate literature and writing selections that appeal to students with interests in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
Next year’s course catalog includes several dual-credit classes in partnership with Missouri Southern State University and Crowder College in the subjects of business, automotive technology, collision repair technology, computer information science, construction, engineering graphics, health science technology, public safety, welding technology and lifetime wellness.
The catalog also features numerous courses labeled “personalized learning experiences” in fields including art, business, drama, music, physical education, art history, politics and broadcast TV/journalism for students who want to pursue an independent study project in one of those fields.
In other business tonight, the board will consider:
• Declaring as surplus property the former Duquesne Elementary School, excluding the two mobile classroom units and the playground equipment, which are owned by the Joplin School District, and the structures and equipment owned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The town of Duquesne has expressed an interest in taking ownership of the property and possibly converting the school into a community center.
• Nearly $5.9 million in bid packages for asphalt, athletic fields, tennis courts, landscaping and irrigation at Joplin High School, which is slated for completion in August.
• The $16,570 purchase of a timing system for the athletics department, which administrators say will allow the district to hold major track meets.
• The $59,759 purchase of a forklift for Franklin Technology Center to replace one that was lost in the 2011 tornado. Up to 75 percent of the cost will be paid by a grant from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, with the remaining amount to be paid by the district.
• The extension of the lease of 7501 E. 26th St., which had served as East Middle School for 2 1/2 years until the new school opened permanently earlier this month. The current lease is set to expire Jan. 31; the extension would take the lease to April 30.
Administrators said the extension is necessary to give the district time to restore the building, which was an agreement between the district and the building’s owner that was left out of the original lease. The terms of the original lease, which was approved by the board in June, will continue to apply; according to that lease, the building is being rented from the Joplin Business and Industrial Development Corp. for a monthly cost of $36,000.
• An evaluation of Parents as Teachers, a voluntary parent-education program that offers developmental and health screenings for children younger than 3. According to the report, challenges to the program include family recruitment and space issues, while recommended changes include the hiring of additional staff members and seeking additional grants for funding.
THE JOPLIN BOARD OF EDUCATION will meet for a work session at 5:30 p.m. and for its regular meeting at 7 p.m. today at the administration building, 3901 E. 32nd St. The board also has scheduled a closed session for discussion of legal actions involving the district; the leasing or purchase of real estate; the hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of employees; and individually identifiable personnel records.