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District deciding which classes to add, subtract for 2009

School District 833 is revising its list of high school classes for 2009 when East Ridge High School opens and ninth-graders move to high schools.

New class proposals include four languages and two social studies classes at Woodbury High School for college credit.

The District 833 School Board reviewed a proposed list of new classes and those to be eliminated or changed in a workshop session, Nov. 6.

Because of classroom changes that can be made during construction, East Ridge High School will have new STEM classes (science, technology, engineering and math) with two engineering and two biomedical classes offered. They will build on new STEM classes offered this year at Oltman and Woodbury junior high schools and next year at Cottage Grove and Lake middle schools.

A Teacher Cadet course, with the help of the district's office of equity and education, will be offered to help students of color interested in teaching. The class is a response to a general shortage of minority teachers.

The class, open to all students, will work from an existing curriculum used in North Carolina and used for training district teachers, according to Mark Porter, assistant superintendent for human resources and legal services.

A beginning Mandarin language course will be taught at East Ridge. It will be monitored to "see if it grows," according to Randy Zipf, the assistant superintendent for secondary education, before offering it at Woodbury and Park high schools.

The list of classes, presented by Rick Spicuzza, assistant superintendent of curriculum and assessment, and Gordy Denn, K-12 curriculum supervisor, will be presented to the board Nov. 20.

When ninth-graders arrive, 225 classes will be taught at three high schools, according to Zipf.

Design-a-class and advertising and promotion are examples of classes to be dropped because of low enrollment. Advanced sociology has not been taught for two years, Denn said.

Originally, Algebra I was set for removal because of the assumption that students are taking it in eighth grade as will be required by the Minnesota Department of Education next year.

About half of eighth-graders are taking algebra this year so it will be offered next year in ninth grade.

"We will monitor it to see if it needs to stay," Denn said.

Students taking Read 180, a reading class for students who need additional reading skills, will not take a transition class after completion but go on to ninth or 10th grade English.

One class of general physical education is currently required and can be taken at any time during four years. The class will now be required in either ninth or 10th grade as a prerequisite to other classes emphasizing physical fitness, according to Spicuzza.

The committee that established the revised class list represented all academic departments and the administration, Denn said.

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