U46 revamping health care science, technology programs
By Emily McFarlan email@example.com August 7, 2012 12:28PM
Updated: September 9, 2012 6:09AM
ELGIN — It was a “mistake well worth making” for the daughter of School District U46 Board of Education member Jennifer Shroder.
She’d signed up for a high school early childhood class and balked when the first weeks of the class turned out to be sex education. She wanted to learn how children grew up, not where they came from, Shroder said.
She was able to drop the class, which gave her a sense of control over her high school education, the board member said. But Shroder worried about the course descriptions and information presented in similar career and technical education classes.
That’s why, in reviewing the current Health Care Science Education and Technology Education curriculum, it is important that “All our programs are very focused on career preparation,” Carol DePue said,
DePue, career and technical education coordinator, was one of several U46 officials who made the first of two planned presentations to board members Monday about revising the Health Care Science Education and Technology curriculum.
Those presentations come as officials request approval to replace the current curriculum with revised, more rigorous Health Care Science Education and Technology Education offerings. That new curriculum will “prepare all students for post-secondary education and future careers,” according to the presentation.
U46 already offers courses in both Industrial Technology and Health Occupations.
Last fall, two committees of U46 high school staff and administrators started meeting once a month to revise their curricula. Already, those committees have decided to rename the programs from “Industrial Technology” to “Technology Education” and from “Health Occupations” to “Health Care Science,” according to the presentation.
“I think that this name change more accurately reflects the content and aligns with college courses the students will take when they leave our schools,” said Kellie Sikora, a health care science teacher at Elgin High School.
Those revisions — six new courses, six discontinued courses and eight renamed courses — will align with state course descriptions, as well as the Illinois Common Core, National Health Care Education, Technology and WIDA standards, the presentation said.
They include courses such as biotechnical engineering and aerospace engineering. They also will align with the U46 district improvement plan, identifying rigorous, high-impact instruction for all students, according to the presentation.
The revisions also will help students develop high-level, transferable skills that are “fundamental to college and career success,” it said. That includes more courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and Project Lead The Way, the district’s pre-engineering sequence.
They also will allow students to intern and earn college credits and work industry certifications.
U46 will determine how much the new curriculum will cost during the coming school year, which starts Aug. 22. If approved, it would go into effect in the 2013-14 school year.