New classes added to PRJUSD curriculum


Board approves classes in Government and Psychology, among others

PASO ROBLES  Next year Paso Robles High School, George Flamson Middle School and Daniel Lewis Middle School will see new classes on their course selection lists. The Paso Robles School Board approved a staff recommendation to adopt new curriculum at a school board meeting Tuesday. 
New high school classes will be Modern World/U.S./AP United States History, Economics, Government, Psychology, Business Communication, Ag Economics, Ag Business, History of Jazz. All classes (excluding History of Jazz) will be accompanied by digital content (eBook, video, audio, etc.). 
The Paso middle schools (grades 6-8) will be adopting Impact/Impacto, a 2019 McGraw Hill English/Spanish student-centered social studies program designed to help teachers make an impact in the classroom and the world. The curriculum, which includes digital content, will cover essential questions, interactive timelines and maps, relevant videos, audio narration and a full resource library. Primary source activities will include an inquiry journal, inquiry projects and civic reasoning activities. 
“What is really, really exciting about this is that in every single one of these courses and this curriculum and option, we had a consensus of approval from all our committee members,” said Chief Academic Officer Carol Kenyon, who added that it’s rare to have such agreement across the board on a body of curriculum. 
The curriculum was adopted after a teacher and administration committee, led by Kenyon, Director of Curriculum and Assessment Dana Budd and Educational Technology Supervisor Ronalee Andersen, analyzed the textbooks and had Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, PRJUSD teachers pilot the Discovery Education program from February through April. 
The committee found the McGraw Hill Impact/Impacto coursework proved stronger in ELA and ELD support as well as complete dual immersion resources. The public was invited to sample the materials for the new classes from May 7 to 18 and provide their input.
The total cost of adopting the new curriculum is $608,500. 
At the same meeting the Board approved two courses for fourth year high school students who have completed the three-year pathways in the areas of welding and theater.Deputy Superintendent Jennifer Gaviola explained the courses are designed for students who have already taken three years of welding or theater classes, and would like to take a leadership role for their fourth year in the respective areas. Instead of taking a Teacher’s Aide course — the norm at PRHS — Gaviola said the fourth year “course” will be more like a mentorship. A theater/drama student, for instance, may take a director’s role in an underclassmen play, and a fourth year welding student would “follow” a master welder in more of an apprenticeship role, working on direct career skills. 
Gaviola said, “In theater/dramatic arts and welding… what tends to happen in that fourth year of work, they’re either repeating a course or they’re aiding as a ‘T.A.’ for the course.” She said Marcy Goodnow, Theatre Educator for PRJUSD, and veteran welding instructor Justin Pickard prefer student leadership and mentorship as a fourth year course in both areas and were key players in choosing the new path in drama and welding. 
You may reach reporter Beth Giuffre at [email protected] for questions and/or feedback. 
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