GLENVIEW/NORTHBROOK — Advanced placement computer science classes designed to expose more students to developing code for apps are among the new offerings proposed for Glenbrook North and South High Schools for the 2017-2018 term.
Administrators from the two schools presented their ideas to the Glenbrook High School District 225 Board of Education January 9 at the district offices in Glenview explaining how students who want to program computers can learn a friendlier way to do it.
The board is expected to vote on the proposal January 26.
Current programming classes teach students to write step-by-step coding to develop apps, according to Cameron Muir, the associate principal at Glenbrook South for curriculum and instruction.
Muir said the new offering, which is the same at both schools, will teach less complicated programming methods to attract a broader group of students to sign up for the class and hopefully create ideas for future careers.
“This gives them the opportunity to learn computer language in a way that will give the course more impact,” said Muir. “Students find it much easier to grab and stick,” he added referring to a method where prewritten code is moved into the program. “It makes it more fun.”
Board member Scott Martin said he liked the idea of making coding easier for the students to get more involved. He said it would be a good thing beyond the classroom.
“I know a lot of people who would like to do more grab-and-stick (on their computer),” said Martin.
Other new offerings at Glenbrook North include civics, yoga, honors Mandarin Chinese and digital electronics. Glenbrook South will also add civics along with interior design, dance and American Sign Language, according to Rosanne Williamson, an assistant superintendent.
The civics class, which will be offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors, is a new statewide requirement. It is a one semester course teaching government institutions and community service, according to the written description contained in the district website. It is also designed to simulate the democratic process and foster a discussion of current and controversial topics.
Board Vice President Robert Boron wanted to know whether the requirement to teach the state and federal constitution to all students would be done through the new civics class. Jeannie Logan, an instructional supervisor with the district, said it would continue to be taught as part of the required United States history class usually taken by juniors.
“We felt it was best to keep the constitution as part of U.S. history than make it a key component of the civics course,” said Logan. “It is more in line with the history course.” All students in Illinois are required to pass a test on the constitution.
Board President Skip Schein wanted to know if the yoga class required hiring a certified instructor. He was told there was already a teacher on staff with the proper credentials. It is a co-ed elective gym class.
“I think it’s great they get a health life skill like yoga at such an early age,” said Schein.
Click here for a more thorough description of all the courses and the reasons for them contained on the district website.