Dublin high school students will see changes next year that will offer more variety.

Dublin high school students will see changes next year that will offer more variety.

The Dublin City School District Board of Education last week heard the first reading of changes to the high school course and career planning handbook for the 2013-14 school year.

Tracey Miller, district director of secondary education, said 23 "significant" changes were made to the handbook for next fall.

During the past few years the district has been working to make the handbooks the same at each high school.

"Theses handbooks are getting better and better," Miller said.

One of the biggest changes students will notice is social studies, Miller said.

State mandates require an end-of-year exam for American Government and U.S. History. Students usually take American Government their senior year, but the course will be moved to the junior year so students can have a chance to take the exam over again if needed.

The new end-of-year exams will replace the Ohio Graduation Test and be instituted in the 2014-15 school year.

Miller said, however, U.S. Government will be given to juniors a year before the new state mandates go into effect.

"We'll move this a year early so we know how kids perform on the assessment," he said.

High school students will also have a chance to earn English college credits without leaving Dublin, according to changes outlined in the new handbook.

Dual enrollment will be offered to seniors to get both high school credit and course hours for college freshman English, Miller said.

"The credits transfer to any state college in Ohio," he said, adding students will have to pay $150 for the year to get six credit hours.

Students currently can leave school to go earn college credits, but Miller said the new dual enrollment offering will save students time.

Two new academies will also be introduced at the high school level, thanks to funding from Race to the Top STEM grants, said Eydie Schilling, district director of learning and teaching.

Juniors and seniors will have a chance to be in a biomedical academy or energy and environmental academy.

Both academies will offer credits new to the schools, such as body systems, medical interventions and 3D art, Schilling said.

Students will also be able to get honors credit for an advanced music course, Miller said.

"It will be audition groups and students will sign a contract that says you'll do extra work," he said of the handbook change.

Other changes includes in the handbook include an additional course for English language learners that focuses on writing, as well as a digital economics course that can be taken online.

French four and five were removed from the handbook and students that want to take the upper level courses will be moved into the International Baccalaureate program, Miller said.

The handbook will go before the board of education for a vote of approval upon the third reading.