Courses aim to improve readiness


CHARLOTTESVILLE — Eastern Hancock High School plans to offer several new courses in the 2017-18 school year aimed at helping struggling students to catch up to state academic standards.

Three new classes recently approved by the Eastern Hancock School Board target students who might have passed English and math courses, but not at a high level, and might not be ready to move on to the next class or to college courses, officials said.

These career and college readiness classes, designed by the Indiana Department of Education, target students who want to attend college but whose grades in math and language arts classes could weaken their applications, officials said.

“These are for students whose performance in English or math aren’t maybe what the college would expect,” said Dave Pfaff, Eastern Hancock High School principal.

The career and college readiness bridge courses in English and math are targeted specifically at students who aspire to continue to a two- or four-year university or college after graduation, said Jennifer Lightcap, high school guidance counselor.

CCR Bridge: Literacy Ready, a two-credit course for seniors, will focus on literacy skills in English, science and social science, with two units on each subject.

The curriculum for the course focuses on reading comprehension in the three areas of subject matter, rather than on learning the building blocks of grammar. The course focuses on interpreting text on a college level, according to the department of education website.

CCR Bridge: Math Ready, which is also a two-credit course for seniors only, will reinforce skills from algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2 and statistics in order to prepare seniors for entry-level college math courses.

Math Ready students learn the context behind the procedure: why to use a certain formula or method to solve a problem. T

Superintendent Vicki McGuire welcomed the addition of the courses.

“I think we need to focus more in the future on these bridge courses,” she said. “They could really help out students.”

Math 10, a two-credit course, is open to sophomores through seniors who have taken algebra 1 but aren’t ready to move on to geometry or other math courses, Pfaff said.

Currently, students have the option to retake algebra 1 or move on to geometry despite getting, for example, a D in algebra 1.

“Neither of those are savory choices, so this presents a third option,” Pfaff said.

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Eastern Hancock High School will offer eight new courses to its students come next school year.

Course: Career and college ready bridge: Literacy ready

Description: This is an English class for seniors who want to continue their education at a two- or four-year college or university but have received low grades in previous English classes. It will focus on reading comprehension in the areas of English, social science and science.

Course: Math 10

Description: This class bridges the gap between algebra 1 and higher level math classes for struggling students.

Course: Career and college ready bridge: Math ready

Description: This class catches students up on skills necessary for an entry-level college math course.

Course: Sustainable energy alternatives

Description: The two-semester agriculture course will broaden a student’s understanding of environmentally friendly energies including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and emerging technologies.

Course: Introduction to computer science

Description: Students will gain a broad understanding of the areas composing computer science, with a focus on the areas of computer programming, gaming and mobile development and robotics.

Course: Language for heritage speakers

Description: This class is to provide a foreign language elective option for non-native English speakers.

Course: English as a new language

Description: This class for students with limited English proficiency aims to help them become proficient in listening, speaking, reading, writing and comprehending standard English.

Course: Environmental science

Description: This class studies ecosystems, population dynamics, resource management and other topics in order to understand the complexities of national and global environmental systems.