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School Board explores new KGHS electives

The King George School Board last week asked Assistant Superintendent Dick Roberts to try to get a new elective lined up to offer to students at King George High School this fall. Roberts has been working for months on getting a Criminal Justice elective offered beginning this September.

The topic was discussed at last week’s meeting on May 9, when Roberts gave an update on that and three other potential electives he has been working on, some of which have been discussed at School Board meetings for the

last year or longer.  

In addition to a possible course in Criminal Justice, he’s been looking into courses in Culinary Arts, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Roberts said that Criminal Justice would likely serve the most students. He said that was based on the ability to put 20-25 students into each of two classes at the high school for each semester.

Chairman Renee Parker asked, “What kind of lead time do we need to make this happen?”

Roberts didn’t supply a time frame, but said, “If we could get our ducks in a row, we could pull this off for this fall.”
Roberts provided details, saying, “I have to do some work through Career & Technical Education. I have to ask them for their permission to offer this class. It’s a new course. I have to go back and come up with an employment prospectus. I do have the survey that we did, so I have that, that’s solid. Then I need to ask, ‘Where’s the money to buy the textbooks?’ and ‘Where’s the money to hire a part-time instructor?’”

Roberts was told to proceed and report back on that course.

The other three potential electives are expected to be put off for the upcoming school year.

Culinary Arts is currently a no-go, according to Roberts, saying, “Last time we talked we thought that the Culinary Arts may be beyond our reach at this point.”

That was on March 14, when Roberts estimated equipment for that course at between $207,000 and $409,000, but was unsure about a location for it.

Roberts is also asking to postpone an elective for Certified Nursing Assistant for another year.

Last August 2010, the School Board delayed initiating the class until this coming fall because Roberts said he was unable to find a qualified instructor, despite having made up and posted four-color flyers at neighboring Heritage Hall, which had agreed to work with the division to provide the practical experience side of the program.

Roberts also said the part-time position had been posted on the school division website. Lynn Pardee had suggested he might have had a better chance of attracting a potential candidate by placing an ad in the newspaper. Last August, he suggested putting that proposal on-hold, saying he would, “continue looking into it for the next year, and so are asking you to give us this year to work it out.”

That year has come and nearly gone. Now Roberts agreed they could hold the class in the former Vocational Building, which was closed down after the new high school opened in February 2009. The suggestion to use that building came from Mike Rose at a March meeting.

But Roberts suggested they wait another year to initiate the class, saying, “I do think we would need some time to do some things to that particular building.” He also said, “It’s more than just getting the building cleaned up. We need a year’s planning.”

Pardee said, “We’ve been planning it for so long.” But Dennis Paulsen agreed with Roberts, saying, “We need a plan of action to have it all laid out with exactly what it’s going to cost, and a plan in place.” Parker asked, “Will you get as much information as you can get, and let us know?”

Likewise, it looks like a class for EMT will also be put off. The topic spawned a lengthy discussion, with the stumbling block appearing to be that the division would not be able to get free instructors from the county’s Fire & Rescue Department, which he had previously suggested could be a possibility.

Phyllis Cook

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