Baldwin High Looks at Many Changes to Course Offerings
District committee recommends some name changes and the elimination and addition of some courses.
A committee led by Dr. John D. Wilkinson, the Baldwin-Whitehall School District's assistant superintendent of secondary education, has proposed changes to Baldwin High School's course selection guide.
Wilkinson explained some of those changes to the B-W School Board on Wednesday night, which will decide whether or not to approve the changes at a later date.
If approved, some courses would have their names changed, and some other courses would be dropped, all while maintaining the same teaching staff. Some other courses would be added.
For example, "Core English" would change to simply "English," "Academic English" would change to "College Prep (CP) English" and "Advanced Academic English" would change to "Honors English."
Wilkinson said that the name changes would lead to less confusion as the district moves away from "Baldwin terms" to terms more familiar to college admissions workers.
"(The changes) line up with what everybody else is doing," Wilkinson said.
Other name changes include "Social Studies 9" to "Civics and Geography," "Personal Finance" to "Senior Seminar I" and "Art Metal Crafts" to "Metal Smithing."
Wilkinson's committee, which also included Baldwin High Principal Kevin J. O'Toole and B-W Guidance Supervisor Stephanie McHugh, also suggested eliminating the district's Core Geometry class, just as Core Algebra has already been eliminated.
The word "Lab" would also be removed from any course names, and the word "Personal" would be eliminated from all Physical Education course names.
Courses that would be added include Honors Civics and Geography, Honors French, and Honors German.
Accounting II, C++ and Intro to Java would also all get Honors tags, and Guitar would be open to students in grades 9-12 instead of just 10-12.
Wilkinson stressed that the changes would not alter the number of teachers at Baldwin High.
"Same amount of teachers," he said. "We want to do more and better with what we have now."
School board President John B. Schmotzer suggested placing a Quick Response (QR) code on any new physical course selection guide, and Wilkinson agreed. The QR code would allow users to scan the physical guide with a smartphone and be taken to a website that contains a digital version of it.
Check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch later on Thursday for more odds and ends from Wednesday night's school board meeting.