BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Board of Education approved new high school courses and a field trip for the High School Baseball Team at the Thursday, Oct. 20 meeting.

The BOE approved new curriculum guides for the 2016-17 school year. Assistant Superintendent Scott McKinney explained that because of the New Generation Science Standards for grades 6-12 all science courses have been revised to meet the new requirements. Added honors levels courses also required changes in the curriculum guide, he said.

Starting in the 2017-18 school year 10 new courses will be offered at the Governor Livingston High School. They include two AP level courses “AP Computer Science Principals” and “AP Statistics”. Students may take the new AP Computer class as early as their sophomore year. The AP Statistics class will be available for approximately 25 students per year.

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“Exploration of Mars” and “Introductory Astrophysics and Special Relativity” will be new STEM based electives that are geared towards students interested in physics. The English Department will have three new courses: “Mythology”, “Music and Lyrics – Societal Reflection and Influence” and “Digital Media Marketing” which entails advanced TV-production.

Other courses to be offered are “Advanced Human Behavior Honors” as well as two semester long social studies classes “Leadership” and “Sports and the American Experience”.

Depending on student interest some existing courses may be eliminated and some courses may be offered in alternate years. There is also a small decrease in enrollment that may affect the course offerings, McKinney explained. Superintendent Judith Rattner noted that more students are opting to take electives rather than a study hall. The approved courses will be added in the budget. Three stipends will be enough to accomplish staff needs, McKinney said.

The high school baseball team attended the meeting to hear if the board’s decision on their hoped for field trip to South Carolina. Rattner explained that the team had provided her with “a fine presentation” regarding to their planned field trip.

The board, indeed, unanimously approved the team’s travel plan. The team can now proceed with fundraising for the trip. Board member Chris Reilly commended the baseball players for showing up “as a team” at the meeting.

The next board meeting will take place on Nov. 3. Presentation of A+ Ideas Preschool Curriculum will be on agenda.