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01/16/2017

Proposed High School offerings for 2017-18 reflect state, Cape education goals

New courses proposed for Cape High School students next year reflect recent changes in both state and Cape Elizabeth education goals.

Jeff Shedd, principal at the High School, introduced a number of proposals for new courses while presenting the 2017-18 draft program of studies to the School Board at their meeting Jan. 10, 2017. Many of them address one of the School Department's strategic-plan goals, to increase student engagement by providing options for students:

  • Students, mostly seniors, will receive High School as well as college credit for a new Quantitative Reasoning course offered through Southern Maine Community College.
  • Robotics, up until now an after-school activity, will be offered for credit during the school day, utilizing the High School's former lecture hall.
  • An experience class in earth and space science, a popular elective, may become a requirement for seniors beginning next year - pending School Board approval of revised graduation requirements.
  • A new elective in sociology.
  • A treble choir for upper-class alto and soprano singers seeking a challenge beyond the schoolwide concert choir.
  • A sculpture course, adding a new 3-D fine arts offering to the existing ceramics class.

Introduction to proficiency diplomas

The draft program of studies for 2017-18 also introduces requirements for proficiency diplomas that will be in place for next year's freshman class of 2021. English and math proficiency is mentioned in the draft narrative, but Shedd said, "that is my mistake. They will actually need to demonstrate proficiency in English, math, science and social studies by the time they graduate, and that will be changed when this becomes a final document."

Missing from the draft are introductory algebra classes, reflecting a beefed-up math curriculum implemented at the Middle School in 2014-15. [news article]. Courses recently added at the High School, including support services' "Freshman Academy" and the student-driven learning program, are again part of the draft program of studies.

The final draft is expected for School Board approval in February.