New science curriculum ideas presented to school board

Norman Arnold, chair of the Winslow High School Science Department was introduced to the Governing Board by Principal John Henling. Arnold presented proposed charges in the science curriculum to the board.

The first priority is the need for change in the teaching of Physics. This curriculum is currently conceptual and needs to be more mathematical in order to graduate students who are more competitive at the college level. Most of the physics courses in Arizona are based on calculus. changing the course will mean ordering new texts, as cost Arnold said he had been assured could be met. In later questioning, Arnold said that the texts and the syllabus for any new course would be reviewed before introduction to the classroom.

Another priority revision is to eliminate Environmental chemistry and Marine Biology. Neither of these course meet strict standards for academics and the biology course does not permit a "hands-on" approach which Arnold and the science staff feel is needed for real scientific learning. "We do not live on the coast here," Arnold said.

Ecology is a "hot item" today and Arnold proposed this become the less mathematical science course. Arnold also proposed offering Geology as a semester course since this is the "premier place in the world" for hands-on work in the field. Botany and Zoology are lab courses that are also proposed.

Arnold noted that each course was designed to include a field trip. "Let kids see things happening and get excited by science," he said.

Among the Governing Board questions was one about the mathematics requirements to meet these new math based courses. Arnold said that he would take on the chemistry and Physics classes and that "class sizes are going to go down." Additional math courses will be needed to meet this curriculum. "I can make all the kids competitive in college within our current resources," Arnold said.

In other business the board heard from Sister Michael Wilson that she has ordered booklets from the Arizona Department of Education entitled "Parents Guide to the Internet." She has them if anyone is interested in obtaining one.

The board approved the resignation of Mr. Lance McAdams as a mechanic for the Transportation Department and the employment of Ms. Wilma Anaya as an aide for Washington School and Ms. Louise Seiler and Mr. Samuel Lambert as substitute teachers. A request by Mrs. Sue Tecklenburg for early retirement in September 2001 was also approved.

The school calendars for 2001-2003 were adopted. Superintendent David R. Black said that the calendars had circulated among staff for their vote.

The board accepted donations from Verizon Wireless of two cell phones and monthly service valued at $378 for Winslow Junior High School; $50 from Winslow Dental for the attendance program at Winslow Junior High; $132 from General Mills Boxtops for Education for Bonnie Brennan School; $180 from the Wal Mart Foundation to the title IX program; and a matching donation of $981 from Wal Mart to the Winslow High School wrestling team from a fundraiser.

Dr. Black reminded the board of the special presentation for staff by Dr. Harry Wong on March 2 and that there would be a work session after the next regular board meeting on March 7.

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