PE, health to stay in RHS curriculum
Never underestimate the resourcefulness of a school district.
Rockdale ISD school trustees have found a way around state curriculum guidelines, which are dropping physical education and health from courses required for graduation.
Those courses, which administrators feel are vital in combating student obesity and teen pregnancy, will become “required electives” beginning this fall.
Board members, meeting in regular session Monday in the Central Administration Building, also hired teachers for next school year and cancelled the May 8 board election.
Penny Curry, assistant superintendent for instruction, told board members the School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) targets obesity and pregnancy as two of its main concerns.
Others are diabetes and improper nutrition.
“We recommend requirements for PE and health be maintained,” she said. “PE and athletics are factors in our approach to obesity and abstinence-based sex education is part of health.”
Principal Chad Jones, who presented the RHS 2010-11 Academic Standards guide (course offerings) later in the meeting, agreed.
“Who could want to get rid of PE and health?” he asked.
Trustees approved the guide, which included “required elective” status for the two courses.
Jones said an “exciting” new offering is virtual learning, with students able to take courses via computer.
He said courses are taught by certified instructors and that all exams are “proctored” with a school official present.
“Virtual school can have a variety of uses,” Jones said. “Students can take courses we don’t offer here. One example would be a student transferring in from Austin, or another district, who has taken the first year of German. We don’t offer German, but they could take the second year through virtual school.”
Board members, on the recommendation of campus principals, hired a total of 118 teachers for 2010-2011, 99 on term contracts and 19 on probationar y contracts.
Walter Mangan was hired as a high school teacher-coach.
The follow ing resignations were accepted:
High school— Sharon Shoemake, Richard Reat.
Junior-high— Kathleen Brockenbush (retirement).
Intermediate— Heidi Ford, Alisa Zulkowski.
Elementa r y— Renee Kes- selring.
Trustees cancelled the unopposed May 8 school board election.
Incumbents Michelle Lehmkuhl (Place 3) and Lee Jenkins (Place 4) will serve new terms.
Wenda Jo Dyer will move into the Place 5 slot being vacated by board president James Birkhead.
In other business, board members:
• Viewed a power point presentation on creating a mummy (from a chicken) by fourth grade gifted/talented students under the direction of Mickie Daniels.
• Approved a three-year technolog y plan as presented by instructional technologist Kathy Pelzel.
• Heard reports on mini-grant for elementary touch-screen technology units, iPods for fourthgrade classroom use and English/ Language Arts (ELA) net book carts for the high school.
• Hired Lott, Vernon & Co. PC, to perform the 2009-10 independent audit.