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Will WSHS learn history on the road? (01/12/2014)
By Amelia Wedemeyer

Two-week field trip in summer proposed as full U.S. history class

An adjustment in graduation requirements, new courses, and the elimination of several courses are being considered for the next school year at Winona Senior High School (WSHS).

WSHS administrators have requested $54,000 for new or adjusted courses. The new courses include a $7,000 CSI Winona science class, a two-week United States History course that could cost up to $10,000, and a $6,000 Technology and Broadcasting course.

Two weeks of history

Instead of only having the option of the required 10th grade American History class, the proposal is seeking to include an option that would involve taking a two-week trip to historical American sites. This United States History course could cost up to $10,000, depending on the financial needs of each student taking the course.

Board members commented that students who would benefit the most would most likely be the ones who could least afford it. Students would not have to attend the regular semester of class during the school year, which WSHS principal Kelly Halvorsen said would give them time to earn the money for the trip.

Graduation requirement changes and dropped courses

At the board meeting Thursday night, Halvorsen walked the School Board through the proposed course changes for the 2014-2015 school year. One change is in the minimum credits required for graduation.

“We want to increase the percentage of credits students need for graduation,” Halvorsen said. “Our recommendation is to increase to 96 percent.”

Currently, the minimum percentage of credits needed to graduate from WSHS is 93 percent, which totals a minimum 56 credits out of 60 possible. The new requirement would shift the total available credits from 60 to 56, and the minimum credit requirement from 56 to 54, increasing the overall percentage by three points from 93 to 96 percent. The only area losing credits would be electives, with the proposed plan changing the minimum from 21 to 19 elective credits.

“This can be somewhat confusing,” Halvorsen admitted, adding that WSHS would help students navigate their path towards graduation.

Requested changes to existing courses would cost an additional $31,000.

Among the courses being dropped are Assistance in Writing and Senior MCA Prep, which are classes offered to help students pass the MCA test; Greenhouse Management in the agriculture department; Challenge American History 9 from the social studies department; Recordkeeping; The WWW and You; and four computer programming classes, all from the business department.  


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