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New classes proposed for Platteville High School
New AP course, replacement AP course and beginning guitar
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The Platteville School Board is expected to vote in January on three proposed new classes for the 2016–17 school year.

The three classes won’t require hiring new staff, and in some cases grant funds will be sought for the class’ start-up costs.

One proposal would replace the current advanced-placement world history class with a one-credit advanced-placement psychology class for seniors, to “basically replicate Psychology 101” in college, said PHS teacher Garrett Jones.

Platteville Public Schools superintendent Connie Valenza said “probably 20” students have expressed interest in an AP psychology class. If the class were offered, PHS’ psychology class, now open only to seniors, probably would be offered to juniors as well.

PHS also offers AP U.S. history and government classes. Valenza said PHS was unique in having three AP social studies courses.

Another proposal would begin a new advanced-placement biotechnology in agriculture class, for ½ credit. PHS doesn’t offer an AP biology class, so this class “would provide a track for them to go down” for interested science students, said PHS principal Tim Engh.

A proposed beginning guitar class would meet every other day for one semester. The class would be awarded ¼ credit.

“We want to get back to offering some general music courses at Platteville High School that appeal to different students than those in our performance groups,” said PHS vocal music teacher Amelia Armstrong. 

Armstrong said enrollment would be capped by the number of guitars the school district would be able to provide — as of now, 12 students per semester based on six available guitars. Students would not be able to bring their own guitars to class because of repair responsibility issues, she said.

Startup funding for the class could be provided by grants from the Platteville Music Boosters or the Platteville Community Fund, or crowdfunding, Armstrong said.

The class would replace an adaptive music class for special education students, which now has just two students, Armstrong said. She added that special ed students are now mainstreamed into the PHS choir.