The Seneca Valley School District offers hundreds of school courses for its students. Now pupils — and their parents — can view them with the stroke of a keyboard.
On Thursday, the 2012-13 program of studies for student in grades seven through 12 went live on the district’s Web site. Assistant Superintendent Matt McKinley said the interactive online version contains the same courses and descriptions as last year’s hard-copy edition.
Users are able to click on an offering to get a full description of the course. If the course is available online through the district’s cyber school, it is highlighted in blue next to the description of the brick-and-mortar class offerings.
Also online is a four-year planning guide that the guidance department has developed for students to use as they select secondary course offerings.
According to a description on the district’s Web site, the planning guide “helps students consider their options as they schedule electives around courses needed to fulfill graduation requirements.” It also can be used as a progress chart to record courses that students already have taken.
The site also features the district’s 16 “career clusters.” Called the Career Pathways system, each cluster represents a group of industries and occupations, including agriculture, arts, business, education, finance and more.
Under this system, students choose classes in a pathway that will best prepare them for employment in their chosen field. For example, under the art, audio/video technology and communication cluster, students would take classes in audio and video technology and film, journalism and broadcasting, telecommunication and other related courses. Suggested electives are Intro to Graphic, Interactive Animation Design and other visual arts and art classes.
The district will offer a variety of new traditional, cyber and performing arts classes that McKinley said will help prepare students for the life in the 21st century. He added the challenge of today’s Seneca Valley educators is to provide as many opportunities for students as they can within the district.
“The skills the students are bringing to the table every day are phenomenal and growing exponentially as we move on through time,” he said.
In the science realm, the district will replace ecology with an anatomy course. Instead of just advanced chemistry, there are organic biochemistry courses and more. There are additional courses in English, world languages and performing arts.
McKinney said the district is offering 135 courses through its cyber program.
“Just a few years ago, we had 40,” he said. “I’m amazed at how quickly that has grown.”
The district offers 367 traditional courses. Last spring, the district introduced the Seneca Valley Cyber and Arts: the Academy of Choice program, which expanded the cyber services already offered at the high school to the middle-school level. It also added a performing arts program.
Since May, McKinley said the district has added 120 new class offerings, including 53 performing arts classes.
He said the district will continue to add more courses.
"This is just Phase I," he said.
Students are able chose their courses for next school year in the spring. For a full look at the class offerings, the career pathways, and the cyber and arts program, visit the district Web site.