Penta will adjust course configuration PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Arts & Entertainment Editor   
Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:10
The information flow that started when Penta students entered as juniors and continued until graduation is now being channeled in a new way.
At the recent Penta Board of Education meeting, Susan Short, director of curriculum at the career center, said that the new course configuration mandated by the state Department of Education has meant some challenges and adjustments to the way students are taught their trades.
In the past, concepts and topics would be introduced early on, and then be developed over the two-years of trade instruction. What the state now mandates is that career education be compartmentalized into distinct areas of study, more like college courses, Short said.
Short said the idea was to allow a student more flexibility in what they take. With different courses offered, a student would have the option of choosing to go into a certain area more intensively.
The change has been in the works for while. The agricultural cluster course were the first to implement the changes.
"They'll be rolled out little by little," she said.
That should allow instructors to iron the inevitable bugs, and figure out how to structure the courses so all the information is included and sequenced correctly. Under the traditional system, instructors had a fair amount of freedom on how that was done.
She said staff is left to figure out "how do we make that happen within two-year programs?"
Change "always creates some angst," said Jeffrey Kurtz, director of the high school. "It's something we'll have to sort through like so many other initiatives."
He said it could all work out for the best.
"Both systems expect students to apply knowledge at the next level," Short said. "Students will still have two years to master the skills."
Business and medical clusters will make the change this coming year.

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