Proposed Curriculum Changes at Chatham High Presented to BOE

CHS Principal Darren Groh presented proposed curriculum chantes to BOE Credits: TAP Chatham
Darren Groh, Chaham High principal, presents curriculum changes to BOE Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - Darren Groh, the Chatham High School principal, reported on the proposed changes to the curriculum for the 2015-'16 school year on Monday at the School District of the Chathams Board of Education meeting.

Among the proposed changes will be the addition pre-AP Studio Art-3D; Computer Science Honors Principles; Animation and Movement (computer science elective); Algebra/Geometry Extension Course; Intro to Exercise Physiology; AP Art History; AP Robotics; Theater 1 and 2, and health classes for juniors and seniors.

Groh said that information about the proposed changes to the curriculum will be posted on the CHS website, sent out in an email to parents and presented in a class meeting.

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The pre-AP studio art class will lead to the addition of an AP Studio Art-3D course for the students in the following year.

"We're anticipating that current sophomores will be eligible to enter the pre-AP studio art next year and then complete the AP Studio Art the following year," Groh said. "We're anticipating for the 2016-17 school year adding AP Studio Art."

The growing interest in computer science is the reason CHS is adding Science Honors Principles and the elective course - Animation and Movement.

"We have a large number of students enrolled in Computer Science 1 and 2 this year," Groh said. "We're anticipating that number growing. So we're offering Honors and then AP course the following year."

The Algebra/Geometry Extension Course is being added to help students who might benefit from extra support in these classes. Eighth-grade students would be identified by their current teachers, using certain benchmarks, so that they can enter this program as freshmen.

"Students would be identified by their current teachers as students who may benefit from additional support in algebra or geometry," Groh said. "We've always had a math workshop on the books for students who didn't successfully pass the HSPA, so they could pass it the next time. What we're looking to do with this course is get ahead of the game and identify students who would benefit from that support before they take standardized or state tests."

In Science, a semester course is being offered as an elective  - Exercise Physiology.

"We're excited about this course," the principal said. "For juniors and seniors, it's an additional opportunity to select an elective in the field of science."

AP Art History is being added to the Social Studies course list, as well as AP Robotics, to complement the growth of the computer science programs. 

Theater is being split into two semester course instead of a full-year course. That will give students an opportunity to take Theater 1 for a semester and then decide if they wish to continue with Theater 2.

Juniors and seniors will have a health course as part of their physical education curriculum. The health course will include: Decision making and goal setting; sexuality; drugs & alcohol, and nutrition. 

In other business, Alan Routh presented the board with a check for $5,554.74 in grant money donated by the Chatham Education Foundation. The grant money will fund Sculptural Weather Stories at the high school and three programs at Lafayette School: Strengthening the Foundation: Basic Fact Fluency; Spark PE, and Chatham PALs.

"Donations are 67 percent ahead of schedule from last year," Routh said.

The CEF's next fundraiser is the "Taste of Chatham" set for Feb. 27 at the Fairmount Country Club. Tickets, which will be limited to 300 this year on a first-come, first-serve basis, are now on sale.

The board also accepted a donation from the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation for a portable defibrillator, which will be placed near the media center at Lafayette School.

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