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Choreography, other new high school courses may be on Hampton schedule for 2017-18

| Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, 9:39 a.m.

Hampton High School students may enjoy additional courses next academic year.

Marguerite Imbarlina, the high school principal, and Jacquelyn Removcik, the school district's curriculum director, reviewed current high school courses and discussed proposed changes for 2017-18 at the Jan. 9 school board meeting.

Imbarlina and Removcik said they worked with educators and other staff and met with students during the annual review, to find strengths in the current program and areas that needed improvement. The school board was to consider approving the plan on Jan. 16, after this edition's deadline.

Continued support for English, math and science for career and college-readiness always is a main goal, Imbarlina said, while there is an additional focus on promoting physical education and computer science.

Keystone Remediation Courses would be offered under the plan for students who didn't test well on the state's Keystone Exams, the administrators said, and this would be the biggest change for next academic year. The exams are part of Pennsylvania's new high school graduation requirement system, the state education department website said.

The Hampton administrators said it's a challenge for many students to fit remediation courses into their schedules, and when studying they naturally focus on classes in which they earn credits.

Imbarlina and Removcik said they want to make the remediation courses worth a half-credit, giving students incentives to take them. The classes would include Elements of Literature, Elements of Biology and Elements of Algebra.

The administrators said they hope to add to computer science offerings, including a year-long, one-credit AP Computer Science Principles course as well as Robotics II.

A Mass Media Journalism II course and yoga also are proposed, as Imbarlina said, “a lot of my students wanted group fitness.”

Public Speaking would be called Academic Seminar, and would relate more to the career in which a student is interested instead of just “listening to 25 speeches,” Imbarlina said.

Other proposed changes: Trigonometry would be called Pre-calculus, and Basic Applied Statistics would replace Probability and Statistics.

Physical education offerings would include a Lifetime Activities course, which would focus on sports students can use throughout their lives such as biking, and racket sports, she said. The administrators also got requests for dance classes, so high school instructor Jennifer Lavella could offer musical choreography.

The proposed course additions wouldn't require additional staff programming costs, except for supplies, Imbarlina and Removcik said.

Additional courses at the A.W. Beattie Career Center in McCandless will be vet tech and sports medicine, they said.

School board member Lawrence Vasko said it's important for high school students to have an instructional course in personal finances, such as credit card management and spending.

Imbarlina said district officials are looking to have a workshop for students in that area.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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