Administrators and teachers at Evanston Township High School have proposed adding, changing or deleting 17 courses for next year. Some changes are more to streamline, update or clarify the curriculum. Others are additions said to offer students more advanced coursework with more real world experience.
The Math, Science, and Career & Technical Education (CTE) Departments will offer three new classes: Algebra and Entrepreneurship, Information Technology Internship and Astrophysics. Six other classes in those areas will be revised.
Algebra and Entrepreneurship , or “Shark Tank Meets Algebra” as the class was described by Peter Bavis, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in a report to the District 202 School Board, will be a double-period, co-taught class that integrates Algebra with topics relevant to entrepreneurship in a similar way to the Geometry and Construction class started last year. On the Algebra side, students will learn equations and formulas used in business, such as gross profit and net income. They will move into graphs and lines, analyzing topics of market research, financial statements and the like. From the CTE perspective, students will learn the numbers side of starting and running a business. Topics of teamwork, problem solving and public speaking will also be emphasized. At the end of the course, students will have a product or idea to show for their efforts. “By infusing numeracy instruction with project-based learning and real world context, students will gain a deeper understanding of both algebra and entrepreneurship,” says the memo.
Information Technology Internship students will provide first level support for all Chromebooks through the ChromeZone. “This provides students with a job-like work/classroom hybrid experience where they develop real and transferable customer service and technical skills,” the memo said. Students will rotate thought the ChromeZone and a self-directed study project where they will focus on an area of business technology. “This course exists other places that have done 1:1 initiatives and it’s been a home run every where it’s been,” said Mr. Bavis.
Astrophysics will “continue a student’s exploration in the physical world through astronomical topics. This course will use a quantitative approach to solve astronomy based problems using computer modeling methods and visualization of data,” said the memo. “The course will make use of the planetarium,” said Dr. Bavis .
The Fine Arts Department will add 2 Sculpture while revising 1 Drawing and AP Studio Arts Portfolio. The new advanced sculpture class will be an extension of current classes and will also become a bridge to 3D AP art.
The Physical Education Departments will add three new dance classes. Dance Performance, and Dance Chorography and Somatics will be semester classes replacing the year-long Advanced Dance course. Dance Fundamentals will also be added.
Gretchen Livingston, Board President said in response to the report to the Board, ” These are really exciting. Every year I think there is nothing else we can do. We’ve maxed out AP courses, we offer more than anyone else in the North Shore, we’ve built a house, what else could there be? I’m kind of blown away. Any one of [these courses] separately would have been great, together it’s phenomenal. I’m just so impressed and grateful for the creative thinking.”
The report was presented to the Board for information as a preliminary proposal. The final plan will be voted on at the Dec. 15 Board meeting.