Online courses to get formal vote at next North Hills board meeting
By Kelsey Shea
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
The North Hills School Board has taken a step toward bringing online International Baccalaureate, or IB, courses to the district's high school next year.
Though a participation agreement has not been formally approved yet, the IB courses are being added to school's program of studies.
At a meeting Feb. 6, the board unanimously voted to add the participation agreement to the agenda for the Feb. 20 meeting. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the large-group-instruction room at North Hills Middle School, 55 Rochester Road.
“Based on the lack of opposition from the board, we can assume it will be going forward,” district spokeswoman Amanda Hartle said.
The IB classes to be offered are rigorous two-year courses of study that integrate global perspectives and are provided through International Baccalaureate, a foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland.
North Hills Superintendent Patrick Mannarino has said college recruiters notice students with IB course experience and that offering the courses would be advantageous to North Hills students.
North Hills officials plan to adopt only courses, rather than an entire program, so enrolled students would not be qualified for an IB diploma.
The district would offer four classes — “Philosophy,” “Business Management,” “Information Technology in a Global Society” and “higher-level” mathematics, Assistant Superintendent Johannah Vanatta has said.
The district would be charged $1,300 per class per year for each student enrolled, she said. Parents of students who fail or withdraw from the courses would be expected to repay the district, she said.
Currently, 24 students would qualify for IB courses, and the cost to the district would $1,300 per class per year for each student enrolled. She said she did not expect costs to exceed $10,000 per year.
In other business:
• Peter Vancheri, an independent auditor from Hosack, Specht, Muetzel & Wood LLP, gave a report on his company's findings of North Hill's annual audit, which the state requires. Vancheri reported that there were no problems in the audit findings for the financial year that ended June 30, 2013.
• David Hall, the district's director of finance and operations, presented financial projections for the 2014-15 school year the public budget committee has been discussing.
Hall estimated the district will bring in $1.9 million more in revenue than in the current fiscal year without a property-tax increase, based on current projections for local tax revenue and state and federal funding.
• Vanatta proposed changes to the seventh-grade literacy-arts program to the board that she said would boost student achievement.
Eighty-three percent of seventh- and eighth-graders in the district consistently have tested at the “proficient” level for the past four years, but state authorities have begun focusing on improvement, which the district needs to show.
Vanatta proposed breaking seventh-grade reading classes into three tiers based on students' levels. The model is based on a national program — “Learning!” — which shows more annual improvement than the district's current program, Vanatta said.
“By making these tweaks in the program, I think we'll see measurable results,” she said.
Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Vincentian Academy looks at expansion plans
- Unused West View land to become green solution for stormwater runoff
- West View schedules neighborhood cleanup day for April 26
- Franklin Park man presents program that examines seedier side of Hollywood
- Hampton woman, Aspinwall man team to help small businesses succeed
- Annual North Hills Interfaith Gathering to celebrate different traditions
- Student activity fee at Pine-Richland could be raised
- Shaler sets summer paving plan
- Pine-Richland officials look to improve curriculum consistency
- Pine taking steps to alleviate traffic at busy intersection
- All that Jazz Shaler North Hills Library hosting concert