Three existing HNHS courses to be recognized as senior year math credits

Three of Huntington North High School's existing courses will now be recognized as senior year math credits.

The decision was approved 4-0 during the Monday, Nov. 23 Huntington County Community School Board of Trustees meeting, with Vice President Rick Brubaker and members Dr. Jennifer Goff and Troy Smart absent for the vote.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Charles Grable said those classes are Machine Trades, Agricultural Economics and Family Economics and Financial Education.

"At Huntington North, our current policy is that seniors take a math course. That's not a state requirement, although it's highly recommended by the Department of Education and the universities. That's a local decision ..." Grable said prior to the vote. He went on to say that these courses provide flexibility in students' schedules for those who are not on the college track or do not need the upper level courses, such as trigonometry and calculus.

Included in the approval is allowing one Spanish I class being offered at the middle school level count as a high school credit upon successful passing of the students. Grable said that this is similar to the way Algebra I courses that count towards high school credits are completed in middle school. He explained that that one Spanish class being offered at Riverview Middle School meets the requirement of being a full-year class; the other courses will not count in high school because the course is not long enough.

The 2010-2011 school calendar was presented for first reading during the meeting as well. Two calendar options were provided by HNHS Assistant Principal Kelly Renier, who led the calendar committee.

The first option starts the school year earlier, ends the year earlier and has the first semester end prior to Christmas break. Shafer said this option is "nearly identical to the current calendar" for the last few years. The projected start date would be Aug. 12.
The second option starts the school year later, ends the year later and has the first semester end after Christmas break. The projected start date would be Aug. 25.

The board also received two informational pages that map out testing windows for tests such as NWEA and ISTEP+. Shafer said that early release days are included in both schedules.

Board President Kevin Patrick asked Renier why they could not start the week of Aug. 16. She responded with several factors, including trying to keep 90 days in each semester evenly, more time off before the Christmas holiday (for possible traveling) and starting the year mid-week to "ease into the school year." Another factor was that final exams would be a few days after break, and Renier said that the committee thought that returning after a long break to jump into finals would not be in the best interest of students.

The calendars will be brought back for second reading and/or action during the next meeting, Dec. 21.

Doug McElhaney, president of Employee Benefit Trust, presented for the first time as president during the meeting. McElhaney is also the middle school president of the Huntington Classroom Teachers Association.

He replaces Chris Hoke, former president of the trust, who had to resign after being transferred to the Administrative Services Center as energy education specialist for the spring 2010 semester. To fill his vacant seat in the trust, Shafer appointed Nick Altman, who is in his third year teaching at the high school.