4th math credit added for Purdy students
Change aims to prep graduates for college, careers
The math requirement for graduation from Purdy High School will increase by one credit, from three to four, following action by the Purdy Board of Education.
Principal Bob Vice proposed increasing the math credit in January in response to increased demands by colleges. Vice's proposal would eliminate the current situation where students can graduate without taking any math classes for a year, leaving graduates less prepared for college.
In response to a board request, Vice returned with a more detailed proposal at the February meeting, showing two separate study paths: one for college prep and another for career preparation.
Vice and Mindi Gates, instructional and professional development coach, explained how the two study paths will differ. All students will take algebra and geometry. Vice noted that under new state requirements, all students seeking A+ benefits will have to score a proficient score on the state standardized test for algebra 1, a class students generally take in eighth grade.
Upper level math classes will be available after geometry for college-bound students. Career-bound students will have math imbedded into their other coursework to provide more skill and experience. Vice said students taking the career preparation would need to take fewer remedial classes than they presently have to do if they later chose to go to college.
"I think vocational math opens a lot of doors," Gates said. "We'll have it in business classes, family and consumer science and agriculture classes."
Gates indicated the school counselor planned to talk to middle school students about their career paths to get them focused early on the types of math classes they needed.
With the state now requiring all students to take the ACT college entrance exam as part of their annual testing cycle, Superintendent Steven Chancellor said the district had little choice in adding another math credit to its requirements. Satisfied with the options presented, school board members voted unanimously to make the change, effective for graduates in 2016.
Vice noted that courses would be paced so that no student would have to take two math classes in the same year.