Fox Chapel Area School Board considering new courses including coding, music production |
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Tawnya Panizzi

Computer coding, music production and recreational fitness courses are in store for Fox Chapel Area students this fall.

School board members approved five course changes during the regular meeting March 11 at the high school.

They include:

• A high school pilot course, Introduction to Sport and Exercise Science, for the 2019-20 school year, to be fully implemented the following year.

It will be offered three periods a week each semester to students in grades 11 and 12.

Students will study epidemiology, athletic training, sports nutrition, biomechanics and sport psychology.

The class is designed to expose students to technology, certifications, professional associations and career opportunities. There will be guest speakers and field trip opportunities.

• For Dorseyville Middle School students, the board approved three pilot courses including Intro to Python, Python and Music Production and Careers 8.

Intro to Python will be offered one period every other day for 45 days to introduce students to the world of programming. Classes will offer designing, coding and debugging.

Python will be an elective and require Algebra as a prerequisite. Music Production will provide students with the chance to explore more sophisticated applications of digital media.

The three classes will be piloted in the fall and fully implemented in the 2020-21 school year.

The board also voted to merge the high school physical education’s Recreational Fitness and Personal Fitness into Recreational Fitness and Sports and change Computer Science 7 at Dorseyville to CS Game Design.

Those changes will take effect for the 2019-20 school year.

Combining the two physical education courses is not related to recent credit changes approved by the board, said Bonnie Berzonski, the district’s coordinator of communications.

In February, graduation requirements were modified to include an increase from 0 to 0.5 credits in Career and College Essentials, formerly an elective, and a decrease from 3 to 2.5 credits in health, safety and physical education.

“We are in the process of refreshing the physical education curriculum at the high school, and the department felt, with the addition of the new elective, that combining the two courses streamlined the options for our students,” Berzonski said.

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