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Woodridge focusing on safety, curriculum

1/17/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Becky Tompkins

Increasing safety in the schools is high on the list of concerns of Woodridge Local School District officials. At the Jan. 8 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Walter Davis said he had recently met with local police and fire officials to plan upgrades for the district’s security systems.

The district is proposing changes to the way visitors enter the school buildings, he said, such as new technologies to secure doors and possibly changing the location of doors, especially in the middle and high schools.

In the primary and intermediate schools, visitors already enter through the office, “a design we like,” Davis said.

In addition, officials have asked the teachers to close and lock their classroom doors while they are teaching, he said.

Davis said the district has a Safe School Helpline through which people can anonymously report any illegal activities or threats of violence that could harm children.

“My hope is that people will communicate with us, so we can investigate” any potential problems, he said.

The helpline is accessible through the Woodridge website at www.woodridge.k12.oh.us or by calling 800-418-6423, ext. 359.

In other business, Woodridge High School Principal Joel Morgan presented the new high school course description guide, which the school board approved in preparation for the upcoming registration for next year.

Some changes are being made in anticipation of the new state-mandated Common Core curriculum on the horizon, Morgan said. For instance, names of some English and math courses are being modified to address Common Core requirements.

The new state curriculum is intended to stiffen requirements to improve students’ college and career readiness, Davis said.

The school newspaper is being replaced by Digital Publications, Morgan said, and the students will produce an online newspaper. New science courses will include Introduction to Engineering Concepts and Anatomy/Physiology and Biotechnology.

The new Chinese and sign language courses are going well this year, he said, so they will add Mandarin Chinese II and American Sign Language II next year, so students can continue.

The Freshman Seminar, required of all freshmen, has also been a success so far this year, Morgan said. It earns students no credit this year but will be a half-credit course next year.

The high school curriculum offerings will be available on the district’s website soon, Davis said. Registration is also online.

The school board members re-elected Tammy Heffernan as president for 2013 and Jan Flasco as vice president. The members voted to keep their meetings on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Woodridge High School library.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. in the library of the high school, 4440 Quick Road.

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