RHS expanding class offerings for 2013-14

Jan 30, 2013 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Riverton High School students will have six new courses to choose from when developing their schedules for next year.

The Fremont County School District 25 Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved creative writing, documentary film making, pre-med anatomy and physiology, forensic science, engineering, and Wyoming geology classes at RHS.

Principal Joanne Flanagan said she will gauge student interest in the courses before deciding which to implement, because the classes likely will replace some older offerings.

"It will not cause us to hire any additional staff," she told the board. "We always work with the staff we have, but each year we look at what we're offering to students in each department and look for courses that would better suit their needs."

For example, she said students who excel at writing often request more opportunities to explore the skill, but the regular English course must cover a broad curriculum. The creative writing course would be offered as an English elective to accommodate those students.

Flanagan said the documentary film making course aligns well with the new common core standards in literacy that incorporate writing, speaking and listening.

"And it blends with the (Central Wyoming College) broadcasting program," Flanagan said.

The four science classes will serve as additions to the more conventional courses at RHS, she added.

"The science department is hoping to offer some mix and match half credit science classes for kids in their senior year who may have interests (in subjects) we don't currently offer," Flanagan said. "(The courses) wouldn't take a whole year but would allow them to get some science background in those areas."

Board chairman Mark Stone voiced his support for the new offerings, which will give students a more clear understanding of perceived goals before they go on to college.

"(There are kids) who want to step into engineering, and they're hit with calculus, statics and dynamics," Stone said. "They had no idea they would walk into something like that so they get blown out of the water freshman year."

The same concept applies to the other classes, he said, specifically forensic science.

"It's a great career, but you pretty much need to be a doctor to be a forensic scientist," Stone said. "A lot of kids don't understand that. ... They think they can be a forensic specialist with an associate's degree in forensics, and that's not going to happen. By taking these classes they'll know what they need to do in the future."

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