2013-14 course offerings expanded
Students at Hilliard's sixth-grade buildings, middle schools and high schools will have a greater variety of classes to choose from next year.
School board members on June 10 approved course revisions for the performing arts and social studies in grades six to 12 and world languages in grades eight to 12.
Mike McDonough, director of secondary education for Hilliard City Schools, outlined the revisions and new course offerings, which will be in effect when students return to school in August.
The revisions are in response to the new learning standards mandated by the Ohio Department of Education, McDonough said.
"There will be a number of new (social studies) electives at the high-school level, " McDonough said.
New courses include "Hail to the Chief," a course dedicated to American presidents, and the "History of Rock and Roll as a Social Movement."
Honor-level courses in social studies will be offered to seventh- and eighth-grade students.
"This will better prepare students who plan to enroll in AP courses in high school," McDonough said.
For the first time, sixth-graders will be able to enroll in a semester choral class and eighth-graders will be able to take a Chinese language introductory course.
"Sixth-grade student have had the opportunity to sing as part of the general music classes, but we have not had before an individual course for it," McDonough said.
In world languages, McDonough said, the curriculum is shifting from a grammar-based study to those including speaking, writing and dialects.
"Chinese I will be available to eighth-grade students for the first time," he said.
The course revisions also provide classroom teachers with "tangible resources" to instruct the new material, McDonough said.
In other business June 10, board members:
* Approved the treasurer's financial report for April 2013.
* Approved a contract renewal with Ohio Casualty and Indiana Insurance Co. for property, liability and fleet insurance. The annual premium is $295,797.
* Renewed a food-service contract with Aramark Corp. for the 2013-14 school year.
District spokeswoman Amanda Morris said the contract is based on the consumer price index, the number of meals served in a year, the number of reduced-price meals served in a year and the reimbursements to the vendor from state and federal programs. The vendor manages the food program and performs all the variables.
The vendor receives 4.84 cents per meal for management costs and 11.1 cents per meal for administrative costs, which reflects a 2.6-percent increase from last year's contact.
Last school year, the district served 1,460,278 total reimbursable meals and 617,278 "equivalent meals" created a la carte, Morris said.
The reimbursable meals include free and reduced-price lunches, along with regularly priced meals. She said "reimbursable" means the district is reimbursed in part for the meals provided.