Elective courses to be added to Alder curriculum

By Jane Beathard

February 13, 2014

Students at Jonathan Alder High School may take advantage of nine new courses next year, following action by the board of education on Monday, Feb. 10.

Board members voted to add elective courses in art, social studies and language arts to the curriculum.

Superintendent Gary Chapman emphasized current staff will teach the new classes and the offerings will not require new hires.

New, semester-long art classes open to high school students are studio art 1 and 2, ceramics, painting, metal design and independent art.

A year of world studies is open to honors students. Economics is another semester course on the list of new social studies.

Students requiring help to hone their language skills may opt for an additional semester of reading.

Chapman said the nine courses are part of the district’s mission to increase the number and variety of learning opportunities for Alder students.

Also on Monday, Chapman said harsh winter weather cost the district 11 “calamity days” thus far. State regulations allow five and the Ohio General Assembly is likely to add four more to the current school year.

District-wide make-up classes are now scheduled for Presidents’ Day, Feb. 17. Students also used one of three “blizzard bags,” hastily approved by the Ohio Department of Education. Blizzard bags count for a day of schooling.

A quick calculation showed that Alder district remains on schedule for a May 29 summer recess if no other cancellations occur in coming months.

In other meeting action on Monday, board members:

• Approved calendars for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

• Accepted $25,186 in donations from Alder’s athletic boosters for sports equipment, fees and completion of the Victory Bell Garden.

• Accepted a $500 grant from Target Corporation for library books at Monroe Elementary School.

• Accepted a $500 Donor’s Choose Grant to create a second grade listening center at Monroe Elementary School. Principal Leah Ann Childers said the school has received $2,500 in grants via the independent, education-directed website,, since September 2012.

Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 16 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.