The Platteville School Board Monday night approved three new Platteville High School courses.
Those courses will be taught in a renovated high school, which, along with Platteville Public Schools’ other building projects, may result in a 2016–17 calendar different from PPS’ previous calendars.
The School Board unanimously approved the three courses, two of which are new offerings, with the other replacing an existing advanced-placement course.
The replacement course is a one-credit advanced-placement psychology class, which will replace the AP world history course. PHS principal Tim Engh said enrollment in the world history class has totaled six, four and six students the past three school years. Enrollment in AP U.S. history has totaled 21, 23 and 11 students the past three school years.
PPS superintendent Connie Valenza said PHS’ size “makes it difficult to have single-section courses” in very many subjects.
School board member Eric Fatzinger voted for the new AP class though he said he opposed eliminating the world history class. “It’s a content issue for me,” he said. “It boils down in my mind to what’s important.”
The other new advanced-placement class is a one-half Biotechnology in Agriculture class, PHS’ first AP biology class. The other new class is a ¼-credit beginning guitar class, which is not intended as a performance class. That class will replace an adaptive music class for special education students, which are now mainstreamed into the PHS choir.
With work on the $16.6 million building projects under way at Westview Elementary School and yet to begin at PPS’ other three schools, the school district is looking at starting classes Sept. 6, the day after Labor Day, instead of Thursday, Sept. 1, which the school district would be allowed to do under state law.
The building projects include moving first grade from Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center and fourth-graders from Platteville Middle School to Westview Elementary School. The projects also involve new science spaces at PMS and PHS, and reconfiguring classroom space at Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center.
The proposed calendar would reduce spring break to three days coinciding with UW–Platteville’s spring break March 15–17, with Dec. 23 and Good Friday also off. Classes would end June 8. The calendar has three snow days built in.
Valenza said the proposed calendar “honors” feedback from parents to limit half-days, schedule vacation and inservice days near a weekend or break when possible, and ends school by the end of the first week of June.