Hall Schools Board Meeting
When: 5 tonight
Where: Hall Schools Board Central Office, 711 Green St. NW, Gainesville
There will be some new courses added to Hall County's curricula next year, pending board approval tonight.
"What we've been moving toward is trying to offer as many of the 16 national career clusters as we can," Superintendent Will Schofield said. "We'll be one of the first systems offering honors-level career tech courses, and our high school teachers believe they can create equally challenging opportunities in the career tech area."
The career cluster pathways include marketing; hospitality and tourism; agriculture, food and natural resources; and construction. Each cluster has several different pathway options. For example, two of the health science pathways are health informatics biotechnology research and development.
The course additions were first brought up for discussion at the Jan. 9 board work session.
"We have some (career, technical and agricultural education) courses we're looking at offering at the honors level," Terry Sapp, educator on special assignment for Hall Schools, said at the meeting. "We're also looking at adding some honors-level courses for Spanish I, Chinese I as well as some band and choral honors."
Additional courses will be added to reflect the state's movement to the Common Core standards, which has separate geometry, algebra and trigonometry classes instead of the Math I, II and III classes most of the state was teaching.
"We've always said we'll know our career tech program has arrived when a person who wants to be a thoracic surgeon at Emory can't imagine going throughout high school without taking a health care science course," Schofield said at the meeting.
Rhonda Samples, CTAE director for Hall Schools, said the first honors courses would be ones taught at all the schools, including business, marketing and health science.
Johnson High School is the only one without a marketing program, but students can attend Lanier Charter Career Academy for those courses instead, she said.
"I think it's a step in the right direction. Our teachers are excited about it," Samples said. "We've had systems already contacting us wanting to know what courses we're looking at."
Schofield said Sunday there will also be some new career courses offered at the middle school level next year as well.