Thursday, 13 March 2014 00:00
Even on the days that school is closed due to inclement weather, members of our custodial and maintenance staff are working hard to keep the snow and ice at bay so school is ready to open when storms subside. These past few weeks have been very challenging weather-wise.
A tremendous thank you to Nicholas Fusco, our director of school facilities and operations, for his hard work and skilled leadership managing our facilities during the weather emergencies. Thank you, as well, to those members of our custodial and maintenance crews who have worked so diligently during these snow emergencies to ensure our grounds and sidewalks are safe for our students and staff.
Each academic year, students admitted to MIT are asked to share with the school the name of a teacher who has been especially influential in their development. As the MIT Admissions Office Dean writes, “It is a remarkable achievement and a great honor to change a life.” Congratulations to our Wheatley Social Studies teacher Dr. John Staudt who this week received a letter from MIT congratulating him on being named by Wheatley alumnus Lambert Chu, Class of 2013, as a teacher who has been especially influential in his development.
At the Feb. 10 board of education monthly business meeting, Wheatley faculty and administration presented new course offerings, which our high school students will benefit from next year. As I have shared in previous emails and workshops, each year the district’s leadership team sets curriculum and instruction “smart goals” which are designed to support our broader multi-year goals in the various curriculum areas. Just as a reminder, “smart goals” are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound goals.
A smart goal this year is to plan and prepare for the addition of an AP Economics Course for the 2014-15 school year. At the board meeting, Secondary Chair for Social Studies Brian McConaghy presented the steps being taken this year so that our students will have the opportunity to take AP Economics next year. The class will be combined with Honors Government.
The course will consist of Advanced Placement Economics and a thorough survey of American government and politics. The Advanced Placement Economics component will be taught at a college level and focus on Macroeconomics, while also introducing
elements of Microeconomics. Students will be required to take the AP Macroeconomic Exam in May 2015. Additionally, students in the course can do extra preparation to also take the AP United States Government & Politics Exam, if they so choose.
The Social Studies Department will also offer AP Government with Honors Economics. This course will consist of Advanced Placement United States Government & Politics with a thorough survey of Economics. The Advanced Placement Government & Politics component will be taught at a college level, will be reading intensive and will rely heavily on current events and classroom discussion. Additionally, the course includes an introduction to the fundamental principles of economics and its role in the world today.
Students in this course will be required to take the AP Government & Politics Exam. They may also choose to do the extra preparation to take the AP Macroeconomic Exam as well.
The Social Studies department will also offer an exciting elective next year, Sports in America. It will be a half-year course that takes an in-depth look at the significance of athletics in the United States – past, present and future. It will be open to students in grades 9-12.
Last year’s community strategic planning survey identified STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as a high priority area. In support of this initiative, Dr. Joyce Bernstein, secondary chair for mathematics, presented new Mathematics and Computer Science courses that will be available at Wheatley next year. Following the community interest in STEM, students will have the opportunity to take a sequence of computer courses that provide opportunities for continued growth for interested students.
Grade 8: Lego Robotics
Grade 9: Computer Science, Web Design
Grade 10: Introduction to Programming with Java
Grade 11: AP Computer Science
Grade 12: Computer Seminar