SVSD Freshman Campus Curriculum Revised, Incorporates Feedback, Addresses Parent Coalition Points

At last night’s school board meeting it appears curriculum plans for next year’s Mount Si High School Freshman Campus took a turn, incorporating community and school board feedback and some points brought up by a local parent coalition.

On Tuesday, SVSD administration sent out an email blast to parents describing the Freshman Campus’s new curriculum, just as it was presented to the school board in October and to parents at two November public meetings.  Two days later, the school board was presented with a different, revised curriculum model.

It seems Mount Si Principal John Belcher heard the curriculum feedback and, as stated previously, he, the Freshman Campus Advisory/Planning Committee and SVSD administration incorporated that community feedback into the revised 9th grade curriculum for the new campus, which is set to open next year.

During last night’s Freshman Campus Presentation, gone was the required 4-in-1 STEM exploratory class.  Instead, the STEM courses, if chosen by incoming 9th graders, would be a selection of semester and full-year STEM courses already designed by nationally known STEM curriculum company, Project Lead the Way.

The revised curriculum included opt-out options for the new STEM course, thus eliminating its” required for all” status if the particular course(s) doesn’t appeal to all 9th graders.  Instead, if a student chooses, they could take AP Human Geography, a social studies STEM course called The Big History Project or a STEM PE course call Fit for Life.

Another proposed change was centered around 9th grade science.  Instead of all 9th graders taking Integrated Science 1, there was an Honors Integrated Science option proposed that basically fast-tracks and combines the two-year Integrated Science 1 & 2 courses, condensing them into a one-year course that would focus on the biology and chemistry portions of the two-year course, leaving out the Earth/Physical Science components.  Students who complete the honors course could then take Chemistry in 10th grade.  Currently nearly all Mount Si students (if they chose to take it) take chemistry in 11th grade.

There were no big proposed changes to the Language Arts or Math curriculum.

Ninth graders would still have two elective courses to select, but the list of those elective options was expanded from previous Freshman Campus presentations.  The expanded elective course list now includes drivers ed, leadership, intro to computer science, Microsoft TEALS, Coaching Academy and the Fit for Life PE – in addition to the traditional electives of  world languages, band, choir, cooking, art/ceramics, digital art, photo/journalism.

As the curriculum still has a few months to be finalized, more tweaks and changes could occur as the Mount Si Freshman Campus planning work continues.


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