School board questioned regarding science and math curriculum

Several parents made prior arrangement to appear on the agenda of the California R-I School Board regular monthly meeting Wednesday, May 21, to discuss changes in science and math requirements for the coming school year. After discussion, the board decided to take the issue up again at the regular June board meeting. The district science teachers will be requested to be present for more explanation and clarification.

Specifically the questions involved including earth science as a required freshman course for all students. Previously, students falling in certain criteria were allowed to opt out of earth science and go directly into one of the more advanced science courses. The concerns range from the fact that earth science does not count towards the College Preparatory Studies Certificate, that it is not one of the science curriculum courses offered in many area schools, and doubling up on science classes necessary for some colleges may cause students to avoid some time-consuming elective classes.

During the discussion, it was pointed out by the parents that the state’s four year colleges require two science classes, one of which must be a lab class. General science is not acceptable. University of Missouri requires three science classes completed by successful applicants.

According to the administrators, it would be difficult to make curriculum changes of this nature at this time, since the class schedule is already set for the fall semester. Since school is out, students which could be affected by the change were not present to be evaluated. In addition, a change in the alignment of science classes would also require Algebra I to be offered to eighth graders.

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