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Thu, Nov. 14

New graduation requirements, AIDS curriculum ahead for students in Chino Valley

CHINO VALLEY – Freshmen coming into Chino Valley High School (CVHS) next year will face several new graduation requirements, and will take part in a "Get Real About AIDS" curriculum – which the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) Governing Board approved at its meeting Monday night.

CVHS Principal Dave Perey said changes to the high school's curriculum and graduation requirements reflect administrators' "great interest in refining ... the curriculum" to measure up to higher academic standards.

Some of the changes include:

• All students will have to take a course in free enterprise (economics). Currently, the high school accepts three years of agriculture or three years of business education in lieu of free enterprise.

Perey said that after reviewing curriculum for all three courses, the best way to allow agriculture and business education classes to remain closely aligned with intended lessons and to give students the best possible economics education, students should take free enterprise.

• Students will receive lab science credit for vocational agriculture. The school currently accepts applied biological science for biology credit, but school administrators think the applied biology class does not meet state standards for biology.

Under the new requirements, students would receive one-half of a lab science credit for each applied biological science, and one-half a vocational elective credit for each course as well.

Although the high school will accept these classes as biological science credits, colleges and universities may not.

• Align science curriculum with Arizona standards and offer honors biology/chemistry and physics.

Perey said in realigning science curriculum, the school will be able to offer lower-level science courses as well as honors courses, to better accommodate all students attending CVHS.

During the 2003-04 school year, the school will design curriculum for Integrated Science 1/2 and 3/4 (for students who do not plan on post-secondary education). The school will also offer honors biology and begin requiring three science credits rather than two for graduation (beginning with the class of 2007).

The next year, CVHS will stop offering life science or general science, and will instead offer integrated sciences 1/2 and 3/4, and design a curriculum for integrated science 5/6, which it will offer the next year along with honors chemistry and physics (in alternating years).

• Award students with one-quarter of a physical education (PE) credit for each sport they participate in. Currently students participate in a period 8 PE class off-season and receive one-half credit. The change, according to Perey, would give students a more "meaningful senior year curriculum," since they would have to take more classes to earn enough credits for graduation. Also, the high school needs the period 8 PE teacher to teach academic classes during the day.

The board also examined driver's education. Perey said he would like the board to take more time looking it over – CVHS proposed dropping it from the regular curriculum and charging people to take the class. The total cost would become $180, rather than the current $80.

Perey said the teacher who teaches driver's education will teach PE/health next year, and the school would save money by requiring students to pay for the course.

The board removed this item from the agenda to discuss it further.

At its Feb. 10 meeting, the CVUSD Governing Board approved a "Get Real About AIDS" program for the middle school level, and approved a high school curriculum at Monday night's meeting.

According to Julia Watson-Frandsen, Healthy Futures counselor for the district, the Center for Disease Control recognized "Get Real About AIDS" as a Program That Works – students change their behavior after participating in the program.

While the middle school curriculum has 10 lessons, the high school curriculum has 20, 10 of which focus on decision-making, refusal and assertiveness skills. The curriculum contains a packet of information for parents, according to Watson-Frandsen, to facilitate discussion in the home.

In other business, the board approved:

• Accommodations for limited English proficiency students during the AIMS test (including language clarification in directions and translation dictionaries).

• A proposal by Heritage Middle School Principal Harold Tenney to begin working on a quarterly credit system for seventh- and eighth-grade students to help ease the transition from middle to high school by exposing students to the idea of credits before they get to high school.

• An intergovernmental agreement between CVUSD and Yava-pai College for Internet services, which Territorial Elementary School uses.

The next meeting of the CVUSD Governing Board will take place at 6:30 p.m. May 12 in the Territorial Elementary library, 1088 Mahan Lane in Chino Valley.

Contact the reporter at heller@prescottaz.com.

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