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Lawrence school board to consider approving new high school courses, changes

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Post updated at 12:47 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28:

The Lawrence school board on Monday will consider the district’s proposal to add, remove or change high school courses.

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No presentation materials or specific course changes were provided in the meeting agenda as of Sunday afternoon.

The school board will hear a report that includes an overview of the district’s curriculum review process, updates on progress within grade levels and content areas, and an update to the five-year schedule for future curriculum and instructional resource review, according to the meeting agenda

Throughout the review process, any student, community stakeholder, faculty member or curriculum committee member may propose new courses or course changes and offer suggestions and input, according to the meeting agenda. Course proposals can also come out of curriculum leadership work.

After the Curriculum and Instruction Team reviews proposals, approved courses are then brought to the district’s high school principals for feedback and then to the school board for final approval. Course selection must also align with state statutes, which “require a review of academic standards as the curriculum and instruction needs of students evolve over time,” according to the agenda.

The district has created a timeline and budget – “in response to the state revision of standards and USD 497 board policy” – so that content areas will have “designated teacher leadership time and resource budget allocation for changes,” according to the meeting agenda.

Update, 12:47 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28:

Supporting materials for this agenda item were uploaded Monday.

Proposed new courses include beginning orchestra, principles of biomedical science, some computer programming courses, new work experience courses and more. Advanced Placement Pre-Calculus would take the place of Pre-Calculus. Proposed deletions include a law and public service pathway, a media and public relations pathway and more.

See the list of proposed course changes at this link. The presentation for the board is available at this link.

The board will start the meeting with a closed-door executive session to discuss personnel matters, with possible action to follow.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Meetings are open to the public, livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel and broadcast on Midco channel 26. Full meeting agendas are available at this link.

To give public comment virtually during the board meeting, email PublicComment@usd497.org by 6 p.m. on the day of the meeting to sign up to participate by Webex video/phone conferencing.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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