Ellsworth School Board approved six curriculum proposals, including three additional courses, at its Monday, Oct. 14, board meeting.
The school district will add transcripted U.S. History and stats classes, “Technology: The Future of Agriculture” and an international foods class in the 2020-21 school year.
Adding the transcripted U.S. History and stats classes will allow students planning on attending Chippewa Valley Technical College or one of the local universities — such as the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, -Stout and -Eau Claire — to earn college credits for their chosen schools. The district already offers AP U.S. History and AP Stats courses, which will not be affected by this addition.
Katie Christenson, Ellsworth High School’s agriculture teacher, compiled a detailed proposal for a “Technology: The Future of Agriculture” class that does not foresee any major costs. Christenson has already laid out her nine-week plan for the added course, which will include trips to local businesses, colleges and farms. Jon Dodge, Ellsworth Middle School principal and curriculum director, presented the proposals and shared that Christenson does not see a need to drop an agriculture class with the addition of “Technology: The Future of Agriculture.”
The “International Foods” class will be connected to Ellsworth’s Global Scholars program and require students to maintain a B- average or higher in order for the class to count toward their Global Scholars program requirements. Students will learn food customs of each region and will prepare foods that are native to countries of each region.
School Board also approved two course name changes. Computers 1 will be changed to Microsoft Office Suite, which is the first step in having the course transcripted by CVTC. “Reading Intervention” will also be changed to “ELA Reading Strategies” or “Strategies for Reading Success.” Dodge shared this name change was proposed to avoid the possible stigma for students taking a class with the word “intervention” in its course name.
“I think it says a lot about our staff that we get these great proposals every year,” Board Vice President Katie Feuerhelm said. “People are so passionate about their programs to work and keep things progressive.”
“I commend the staff for coming up with options for students — that’s really what it’s about,” newest board member Gary Kressin said. “Nice work, Ellsworth.”
Superintendent Barry Cain proposed an initial 45-item list of maintenance and technology proposals. The board approved the first page of proposals, which included the purchase of a $93,670.50 bus, but will review each additional item individually as Cain continues to find vendors and asking prices.
School Board will meet again 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11.