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Brentwood SD leaders look to upgrade curriculum

| Monday, March 20, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Brentwood school officials are looking to change the way students learn in several courses by updating the curriculum for the 2017-18 year.

School board members were expected to vote on the updates at their March 20 meeting, held after the South Hills Record deadline.

Lindsay Klousnitzer, curriculum director, explained the updates to the board last week.

The 10th-grade world culture class would be replaced with a world history class. Klousnitzer said the instructional approach to learning the subject matter would be different.

Superintendent Amy Burch said the world history course would be better aligned for college board standards as well as make a smoother transition for U.S. history in 11th grade.

New materials would need to be purchased for the world history course. Klousnitzer said the current materials need replaced and do not offer any online resources.

The digital aspect is something the district is looking to improve as administrators look to upgrade the technology infrastructure at the middle/high school building.

“In the past we would look for a textbook and then build the curriculum around the textbook,” Burch said. “Now we are looking at the curriculum and asking what do we want to teach, and then find the resources to back that up.”

Burch said online resources also would be used with textbooks.

High school students who study German will have an opportunity to take the language as an AP course. Burch said enrollment numbers for the German language courses have been strong in recent years.

The district also plans to finalize a Chapter 339 plan, which is mandated by the state school code. The plan outlines the guidance goals for the district from kindergarten through 12th grade.

“This has been a year in the making,” Burch said. “This maps out how the district will address guidance.”

When students reach the middle school level, they will complete an individual academic and career plan. Klousnitzer said the student plans will help school officials identify the instructional needs of the students.

Band uniforms

With middle school students being able to join the high school marching band, the Brentwood School Board is expected to approve the purchase of 30 band uniforms from DeMoulin for $11,558.

The funds might come from the 2017-18 budget or be split with the current budget, Superintendent Amy Burch said.

The contract comes from the state's cooperative purchasing program. DeMoulin, based in Greenville, Ill., has been in business for 125 years. The company has a local representative in the Pittsburgh area.

School board members also were expected to approve the marching band to attend camp at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg campus from Aug. 6 to 11. Middle school students will attend the camp.

School calendar

Brentwood School Board members were expected to approve the 2017-18 school calendar at its March 20 meeting.

The first day for classes would be Tuesday, Aug. 29, and the last day would be Thursday, June 7. Graduation is scheduled for June 8, 2018.

Jim Spezialetti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5805 or jspezialetti@tribweb.com.

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