Dr. Heather Donaldson
Chief Academic Officer
Madison City Schools
I am excited to share that the middle and high school curriculum was shared with the Board of Education for approval. At the January 6, 2022, Board meeting, the 2022-2023 middle and high school curriculum was approved.
There are four new middle school courses
Math Explore – This is a nine week elective for all middle school students. Journey and Liberty will be adding this course.
Project Lead the Way Computer Science Essentials – Computer Science Essentials is an 8th grade only course that will be offered at Discovery, Journey, and Liberty. It will be a semester in length. CS Essentials is actually a high school level course. Per the state department of education, we cannot award high school credit for this course if taken in middle school.
Introduction to Careers in Health Care – This is a 9 week course for 6th and 7th graders to introduce them to various careers in the medical field. Introduction to Careers in Health Care will be offered at Discovery, Journey, and Liberty.
Orientation to Health Science – This is a high school level course, but again, the state department has said that we cannot award high school credit. This will be a semester course for 8th grade students offered at Discovery, Journey, and Liberty. Orientation to Health Science will complete a three course sequence of medical classes at the middle school level with Introduction to Careers in Health Care being the first class, PLTW Medical Detectives being the second class, and Orientation to Health Science being the third class. Students are not required to take all classes in the sequence.
There are three new high school courses
Welding I - Welding I is currently being piloted this spring, and it will become part of our Architecture and Construction Academy at both high schools. It is a 1 credit semester course on a 4.0 scale. Students will be able to earn the NCCER Welding Industry Credential.
Networking I – Networking I will be the second course in the Cybersecurity Academy. It is a 1 credit semester course on a 4.0 scale. This course will only be offered at Bob Jones next year.
Television Production: Studio Operations – This is a 1 credit semester course on a 4.0 scale. This course is for the On the Radar program at James Clemens.
Other curriculum updates
All English Language Arts course descriptions have been updated in the catalog to align with the new state ELA Course of Study.
The American Studies 10th grade high school class will be removed as a course option because of the new ELA course of study.
Revising the curriculum catalog is a tremendous team effort and runs very smooth because of Mrs. Sharon Powell, our Coordinator of Secondary Instruction, and Mrs. Summer Williams, our Instruction Manager, who help oversee so many aspects of this process. There have been countless conversations and meetings among the instruction team, teachers, and middle and high school administrators (especially Dr. Hamilton, Dr. Wade, Dr. Stewart, Mrs. Horton, and Mrs. Flanagan) that have helped shape our proposal. Students were also surveyed to gather input on the classes they would be interested in taking.
I am often asked why we go through this process annually. Each year we make changes to our existing courses, add courses, or remove courses to ensure that we offer a viable curriculum, innovative programs, and experiences that will provide the greatest opportunities for our students to excel.
Since the 2014-2015 school year, we have greatly expanded our middle school STEM Academy. The slide below shows the expansion of our middle school STEM Academy; this only displays the Project Lead the Way courses we have added. The rigorous curriculum, state of the art professional development, online resources, and networking opportunities make Project Lead the Way courses very appealing. We currently offer every middle school PLTW course in addition to two high school PLTW courses in our middle schools.
As we add new courses, our ultimate goal is content alignment PreK through 12th grade.
The two slides below show the alignment of our PLTW courses from the 4th grade elementary STEAM class to our middle and high school PLTW classes.
As stated earlier, our goal is to offer a viable curriculum, innovative programs, and experiences that will provide the greatest opportunities for our students to excel.
The pathways we have created lay a strong foundation at an early age and can help propel students into high demand occupations.