Friday, January 25, 2013

Major Changes at MHS Coming Next Year

 Success Period Bumps Schedule Down To Six Classes

By Paige Baker

 According to a news release: “The Mooresville High School Administration and Guidance Department have created a number of new courses to benefit MHS students and will be implementing a new schedule system for 2013-2014 for students to maximize those and other course offerings.”

   Counselors will begin to meet with students in the next few months to plan and schedule their “educational path” for the upcoming year in addition to the high school years that remain. While planning, students will be introduced to a new variety of classes, further extending the high school credit.

   “The hallmark of a good 21st century school is offering more personalized options,” Mooresville’s Chief Learning Officer Scott Kern said.

   MHS currently has five dual credit courses and seven Advanced Placement course choices; however, an additional thirteen dual credit courses will be added, which will earn a student a high school credit as well as a post-secondary credit at Ivy Tech, Vincennes University and or Indiana

    In addition to the thirteen new courses, MHS will offer several experience-based courses which will earn students high school credits as well as certification through Ivy Tech, including: Project Lead the Way Introduction to Engineering Design, Project Lead the Way Principles of Engineering, Cadet Teaching, Computers in Design & Production.

   Based on the number of interested students and students who had adequately met the requirements and perquisites some courses will be offered every school year and others may alternate each year.

   “We believe offering these additional dual credit courses and early college experiences will increase the number of Mooresville students pursuing post-secondary education,” MHS Interim Associate Principal Jennifer Perkins said. “The additional dual credit courses will also appeal to more students with other interest levels.”

   Next year, students at MHS will also see new or re-worked courses including Honors and Advanced Spanish, Visual Arts and Advanced Manufacturing. More varied options will be available for junior and senior language arts classes for those who passed their English 10 End of Course Assessment on the first try. The options include poetry, novels, short stories and other possible courses. Students interested in the medical field are encouraged to look into the Principals of Biomedical Science course which involves the study of human medicine, research processes and an introduction to bioinformatics

   The MHS schedule will also change slightly in 2013-2014 in order to provide a more personalized approach to learning. Rather than a seven-period class day, students will have six-period days with a flexible class period in place of the current fourth period. Instead of 4th period, it will be called “Success Period”, being utilized for many different learning experiences, from intervention to advanced coursework.

   “The Success Period will provide opportunities for students to individualize their learning, whether that means re-testing on an area they need to master, taking an advanced class, taking an online class, taking part in an internship or having class or club meetings,” MHS Director of Guidance Dr. Debra Page said.

    Currently the administration is creating mock schedules for classes and electives to prevent as many conflicts as possible. The administration is creating the schedule in this manner to decrease class sizes, eliminate unnecessary study halls, enhance what the school has to offer students and ultimately create the personal and academic connection between teachers and students.

    “The goal of the success period is to make our course offerings and experiences as individualized as much as possible to meet the needs of all our learners. We want to create a positive connection between staff and student,” Perkins said.

   Page added that MHS staff members are currently working on the final schedule as well as creating opportunities such as visiting professors working with students during that time. The students will also have a team of teachers from different areas to work with during their success period and those teachers can provide assistance with in-school assignments or online course work as needed.

   “Even with state mandates, we have choice and flexibility in how we design our school day,” Superintendent Brad Lindsay said. “With these new options, students have more choice and voice to pursue their passions. I think this will lead to increased student achievement.”

    Students will begin scheduling for the new school year in February; the master schedule for 2013-2014 will be released in March. Questions about the course offerings should be directed to the MHS Guidance Department at 831-9203.