DELAVAN — There is plenty of excitement for the 2013-14 school year at Delavan-Darien High School.
Back by popular demand are courses in Family and Consumer Education and computer software programming.
Part of the new DDHS course offerings lineup for the 2013-14 school year are courses in Child Development and Interior Design — part of the revived Family and Consumer Education Department — and a new pilot course in Computer Software Engineering through the Project Lead The Way Curriculum.
“We are more focused on college and career readiness than ever before,” said DDHS Principal Mark Schmitt, Ed.D. “We’re offering these new courses because they are what students want, and they are what students need to be 21st Century citizens.”
Computer Software Engineering Pilot
The district has been seeing growing enrollment in the Project Lead The Way courses offered both at DDHS and Phoenix Middle School. The courses offer a range of learning opportunities in the critical areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and many of the high school courses offer college credit to the students who take them. In fact, 13 current DDHS seniors who have college credits through Project Lead The Way have been accepted into the Milwaukee School of Engineering for this coming fall.
Project Lead The Way selected DDHS to be one of three pilot schools in the state, and the state’s only public high school, to offer a new PLTW course in Computer Software Engineering. Only 60 schools across the country are offering this course on this first-time basis.
“It was an opportunity for DDHS to take the next step with Project Lead The Way,” said DDHS science teacher Jerry Iserloth, a certified master Project Lead The Way teacher. “Right now, there is a massive influx in job creation in computer science and software design. (The workforce) is predominantly made up of white and Asian males. Companies are hurting. They need more programmers and they want to see a more diverse group of applicants.”
Iserloth hopes to offer two or three sections of the course in the coming years with classes of about 20-25 students.
Topics covered will range from learning computer programming language, to advanced website design and database integration, to mobile application development.
“The possibilities are endless,” Iserloth said. “All of these different things are involved in this new course. I love it. It’s very exciting to me.”
As part of the pilot, Iserloth will have the opportunity to help draft curriculum textbooks that will be used nationwide should the program be rolled out nationally in upcoming years.
(*EDITOR’S NOTE: This course is pending School Board approval at the board’s Feb. 11 meeting.)
F.A.C.E. Courses Return
As part of district budget reductions in the early 2000s, many of the Family and Consumer Education (F.A.C.E.) courses at DDHS were removed.
Several, however, are making their way back.
Spurred on by student and community desires, along with the desire of Superintendent Robert Crist, the district will offer two F.A.C.E. classes at the high school level — Child Development and Interior Design.
The courses largely teach what the names imply.
Child Development looks at educating students who are interested in working with children in a variety of different careers, from education to nursing to childhood psychology.
Interior Design looks at aspects of the topic in both residential and commercial applications, focusing on floor plans, materials, furnishings and the styles.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to take these half-credit, semester-long courses.
Other new courses
Six other new courses were added to the lineup of offerings, including:
- Wisconsin Natural Resources Certification (Agri-Science)
- Sustainable Urban Agriculture (Agri-Science)
- Sustainable Urban Agriculture 2 (Agri-Science)
- Employability Skills (Business Education)
- Engineering Design and Development (Technical Education)
- Online Geology (Science)
Each is a half-credit except for the year-long Engineering Design and Development course, which fits well with the district’s strategic plan by giving students the chance to work closely with area industry professionals who have agreed to provide mentoring opportunities.
• As students select courses for the coming school year, they’ll notice the new DDHS Education Guide comes complete with “outcomes” listed for each course. These are specifics that will be taught in the course, giving students and parents a full overview of what to expect
“Having these outcomes in the book is a big deal as it shows students exactly what they’re signing on to,” Schmitt said. “They identify what students will walk out with; those ‘non-negotiable’ things our students will learn.”
• Class of 2015 graduates and beyond will leave school with at least some exposure to financial literacy and planning. Current sophomores, freshmen and incoming classes will be required to take a Business and Personal Finance course to learn about planning personal finances, banking and credit, investing financial resources, protecting your personal finances, and business finance basics. The course aims to help students learn how to manage money effectively and make responsible consumer decisions with their resources, skills needed to find success in the real world.
Between Advanced Placement courses and articulated courses through area technical colleges, DDHS students have 40 options to earn college credits during the upcoming school year.
DDHS has 14 rigorous Advanced Placement courses. Students in those courses have the options to take Advanced Placement exams toward the end of the year. Receiving sufficient marks on the exam can translate into college credits at many leading universities from around the country.
DDHS also has agreements with Gateway Technical College and the Milwaukee School of Engineering where a selection of 26 classes taken here can result in college credits for students who enroll at those institutions.
Additionally, students have nine opportunities for distance learning, including taking Chinese language (four levels), American Sign Language (four levels) and Medical Terminology. Students can also receive job skills training and graduation credits for approved internships, being an in-school teacher’s assistant, through the youth apprenticeship program and through school-to-work employment agreements with area companies.
The AP course and articulated course options for the 2013-14 school year are listed below:
Advanced Placement Courses
AP Studio Art/2D; AP Studio Art: Drawing/3D; AP English 12; AP Calculus; AP Statistics; AP Music Theory; AP Biology; AP Chemistry; AP Physics “C”; AP Government and Politics; AP European History; AP Psychology; AP Spanish; AP French.
Biological Science/Botany; Physical, Earth and Agricultural Science; Landscape Design; Alternative Energy Overview; Greenhouse Management; Business Concepts; Keyboarding Applications; Computer Applications; Information Processing; Accounting I; Web Page Design; Business and Personal Finance (online); Business and Personal Finance (classroom); Algebra; Algebra II; Algebraic Functions and Graphs; Trigonometry; Principals of Engineering; Computer Software Engineering; Introduction to Engineering Design; Digital Electronics; Principals of Engineering; Engineering Design and Development; Spanish I; Spanish II; Spanish III.