244 board OKs more graduate requisites

— “We ran into a few snags, and there are some things you should perhaps consider,” Cody Weddle, Mountain View School District 244 director of curriculum, told the board of trustees at its May 15 meeting in Kooskia.

Weddle referred to board’s April vote to change some of MVSD’s graduation requirements. He brought information to the board after visiting with teachers.

Weddle reported teachers would like to continue offering the Early American History course as a yearlong class, with an emphasis on civics and the constitution built in.

“I believe the weight on understanding the constitution and on civics is very important for our students,” said board chair Mike Dominguez of Kooskia.

In the end, the board voted to require six credits of math with a must-pass on senior math, the continuance of Early American History with the added emphasis requested, one required physical education class and zero-mandated computer courses.

The discussion around computers included Clearwater Valley High School teacher Char McKinney saying sixth-grade-students are required to type a paper on a computer in a class period.

“Kids are exposed early to computers, if not at home, then at school in kindergarten,” added Dr. Susan Anderson, Grangeville Elementary Middle School principal.

It was discussed that high school students often need to be able to complete projects in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

“They learn these by middle school or even earlier,” said district technology coordinator Joe Rodriguez. “If they really don’t know how to do something, they Google tutorials and find out.”

The decision to change back to requiring one P.E. credit came after several comments.

“I can’t help but think maybe some kids may be better served in a different arena than P.E. – they may get more out of another class,” superintendent Kent Stokes said.

“I always hated P.E.,” chimed in trustee Casey Smith of Clearwater. “I’d much rather have learned to weld a little.”

McKinney said the ability to accept a sports activity for a P.E. credit is in the state statutes, so that allows for those kids involved in sports to opt out of a P.E. class if they wish to.

In the end, the board opted for the one mandatory P.E. class in the hopes lifetime skills such as nutrition or walking will be learned.

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