Fourteen new classes at Argo High
EMS training to be offered in 2018-19 school year
By Steve Metsch
Students at Argo Community High School will be able to take a class about becoming an emergency medical services tech, a class called “human geography,” and learn about making movies in the 2018-19 school year.
Those are among the 14 new classes approved Nov. 13 by the School District 217 Board of Education.
The classes had been suggested after discussion with teachers and department heads, Principal Chris Covino told the board.
“We want the courses to fall in line with not only goals, but district priorities … nurturing the academic program that challenges, supports and enriches students’ experiences,” Covino said.
The need for an EMS class is evident as “six or seven students” have expressed great interest in EMS careers, Covino said. The class would have them at Moraine Valley Community College for two hours in the school day.
“It would certify all student who finish to drive an ambulance and to operate as a paramedic in training. It’s a wonderful career opportunity,” he said.
Human Geography is a new advanced placement class designed for freshmen.
“It may sound out of the ordinary, but it’s a course designed for a younger student. We’d like to enroll our top-level freshman. It’s a geography class, but focusing on how the culture, ethics, societal values, how they are affected by the geography In the area,“ Covino said.
The equivalent of one semester of college training would be spread over the year, he said.
Another new class, Video 2, “is more of a practical class,” Covino said.
“We don’t offer an option for kids to be in multimedia, making movies, things we see as important career opportunities in the future,” said Covino, who envisions the students one day translating into video what are nowl school-wide daily announcements over the PA system.
Other classes approved include:
Digital Literacy, which would be offered next summer in a pilot program, is geared toward the rising interest in social media.
“There are a lot of questions we have about how to teach kids about being ethically responsible for what they put out there on social media, as well as making they’re fully versed in how to use technology,” Covino said.
The English Department will offer Pre-College Reading and Composition, a new class, along with Applied Composition and Analysis, World Literature and Creative Writing, three modified courses.
The new class resulted after talks with Moraine Valley Community College, he said, when it was found that 15 percent of Argo students “did not qualify to take a credit-bearing course at Moraine Valley in English last year.”
“We thought if we could do something about that while they’re here, we should,” Covino said.
If students get an A or B, they automatically will be placed in a credit-bearing lass at Moraine, he said. “We’ll populate this with students who are on the edge, based on their junior year.”
The Special Education Department will have three new classes: Core 2 History, Core 2 Science and Mathematics for Career and Work.
“We have a number of students who take what we now call ‘Core 2 Math,’ a math class for students with special needs. A number repeat this course two or three times in their four years in high school. They’re just not intellectually ready to go into algebra or geometry.
“So, we’d like to open Mathematics for Career and Work for students now in Core 2 Math. Instead of repeating that course again, they take a course that focuses on math workplace skills and offers them a consumer education credit,” Covino said.
Honors Spanish 1 will be offered to incoming freshmen who score well on placement tests. Honors Geometry 10 will be offered to sophomores who have passed Honors Algebra.
A Math Independent Study class is for those “so far advanced in math, by the time they hit senior year, we don’t have classes for them.”
The plan is to partner with UIC or Elmhurst College to take an independent study on-line, using a space in the school day to do so, Covino said.
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