Parents call for curriculum options

November 22, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - About 20 parents and teachers went before the Greencastle-Antrim School Board Thursday to champion the rights of average students who sometime struggle through their classes.

"Please keep in mind that not every student is college bound," said Teresa Witmer, a parent of three children and one of two spokeswomen before the board.

"In fact," Witmer said, "according to last year's figures, approximately 52 percent of our graduating seniors did not attend a four-year college.


"We offer outstanding programs for more advanced students, such as advanced placement, independent study and early-to-college options, while the choices offered to the more average or lower-level students are lacking," she said.

Witmer said before the meeting that administrators want to drop the general English curriculum and funnel students into the college preparatory English program.

"We want to keep the options for parents and teachers," Witmer said.

It's the same for math, said Kelly Scott, mother of one and the second spokeswoman.

"We have seniors who do not have the ability to count change or balance a checking account," Scott said. "How can we send students into the workplace or on to college without those basic skills?"

She, too, spoke of the "fantastic opportunities" for students who excel in math. "Where we fall short is in offering practical choices for the average student. In speaking with parents and teachers we all agree we need to modify our math curriculum in order to prepare each and every student for the future."

"Since the district disbanded the high school business department, the majority of our students do not have the opportunity to learn about credit cards, credit card debt, mortgages, stocks and retirement plans," Scott said.

Greencastle-Antrim High School students go to Hagerstown Business College for business classes.

The Franklin County Career and Technology Center offers a personal finance class, Scott said. "What we propose is not a watered-down math class, but a course which is relevant to each child."

Schools Superintendent P. Duff Rearick said the district is in the middle of its five-year remake of the curriculum. He told the parents and teachers that their comments would be considered.

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