Curriculum Committee recommends adding four new courses at QHS, QAVTC

Posted: Nov. 13, 2012 10:03 pm Updated: Nov. 27, 2012 10:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Quincy School Board's Curriculum Committee is recommending that four new courses be added at Quincy High School and the Quincy Area Vocational-Technical Center.

The full School Board is expected to act on the recommendation next week.

The new courses proposed for QHS are Abnormal Psychology and Advanced Placement 2-D Art.

The psychology course would be for seniors who have completed AP Psychology as juniors. QHS Principal Danielle Edgar said no additional staff would have to be hired. She said some sections in regular psychology and history courses would simply be shifted to accommodate this elective.

The only additional cost for the new psychology course would be $5,500 to buy 40 textbooks. Edgar said she would have to adjust the textbook line item of the school's budget.

"We'll make it work," she said.

The 2-D Art course would be geared for students who have already taken the Senior High Art and Studio Art courses currently offered. Edgar said the new class would require no additional cost because the school would simply replace a section of Senior High Art. She said some students with a keen interest in art tend to take Senior High Art multiple years because of limited art offerings at QHS, so the new course would provide a welcome alternative for those students looking for new art challenges.

The two new courses proposed for the QAVTC are 3-D Modeling and Animation, and Computer Aided Manufacturing.

QAVTC instructor Kaleb Smith said the 3-D class would give students the opportunity to learn advanced design skills used in 3-D animation and architecture. Smith said students would learn to create special effects and other visual images using film, video, computers and other electronic tools to make computer games, movies, music videos and commercials.

Smith said the course could be helpful to students looking for careers as multimedia artists or animators.

He said the new course would replace an Introduction to Drafting class that has become outmoded because of new computer-based drafting programs.

The proposed Computer Aided Manufacturing course would give students some solid exposure to the type of skills needed for engineering technology, said Mark Pfleiger, director of the QAVTC.

Pfleiger said no additional staff would have to hired for the course. However, a $14,000 piece of computerized equipment would have to be bought using funds provided through the Quincy Public Schools Foundation and the West Central Regional System Education for Employment, a cooperative system that serves vo-tech students in Adams, Pike and a portion of Hancock counties.

In other action, the committee heard reports about proposed school improvement plans from the principals of Dewey, Monroe and Madison elementary schools -- the only Quincy schools that achieved adequate yearly progress on state testing benchmarks imposed by the federal No Child Left Behind legislation.

All other Quincy schools failed to make AYP, according to school report cards issued by the Illinois State Board of Education. School improvement plans for the remaining seven schools will be reviewed at an upcoming Curriculum Committee meeting.