Course change approved at KUSD board meeting

A request for new courses in math and information and technology were approved by the Kenosha Unified School District Board of Education in a meeting Tuesday night.

The courses include Advanced Placement precalculus offered at Bradford High School, Harborside Academy, Indian Trail High School and Academy, Tremper High School and Lakeview Technology Academy. Other classes include mobile game programming offered at Lakeview; game programming technologies offered at Lakeview; and front-end development with angular offered at Lakeview.

“Those are courses that Gateway has shared (and) if we add these to the Lakeview program, it adds another certificate in the Information Technology field,” said KUSD Chief Academic Officer Julie Housaman.

Those certifications include Full Stack Web Developer and Game Programming. The classes will be put into place starting in fall 2023.

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“I work in the IT world and there’s a significant number of people in the programming world who got their start because they were interested in game or mobile programming,” said board member Eric Meadows. “Not all (students) are going to do that, but it’s a great way to get into the IT world … any exposure we can get the kids into programming is a benefit to the district.”

The board also approved a recommendation to approve a $139,500 contract with EMC2, which is a digital platform that provides teachers with student engagement programming as well as on-demand professional resources. Fund to pay for the platform come from a Title IV grant, which is funding for districts to use for needs such as professional development, supplies/materials and salaries, according to the Wisconsin Department of Instruction website.

“It is a database full of resources that are not curriculum,” said Housaman. “They are strategies teachers are able to access to uplift the instruction and make that more engaging for students.

“It also provides 24/7 access to professional learning, which is optional for them to participate in, but certainly responsive to how teachers in 2022 want to access professional learning.”

Housaman clarified the contract price is what it would cost for the current school year, so the contract would have to be looked at again in the spring.

“If the answer is yes, then we would have to figure out how we would pay for it,” Housaman said. “The logical resource we would look to is Title IV, and that’s not a fund we anticipate will decrease. It’s been increasing for us, so I don’t see that as a problem.”

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