District can sense the tides of change approaching
Students at the high school can look forward to expanded course offerings in Project Lead the Way and College Credit Plus options, according to WHS principal Tyler Keener.
“In regard to new programs, I wouldn’t say it’s new programming, but more of an elaboration on what we’ve put into place in the past couple of years,” Keener said.
Artists and performers of WHS can look forward to a newly expanded drama program, as new classes have been created. In addition, a new Arts Honors Diploma will soon be available to students, with Keener expecting it to debut in one to two years.
The drama program expansion includes newly developed electives for eighth graders as well, who have been requesting expanded elective options.
The entire school district will also continue its journey with Rachel’s Challenge. At the high school level, Keener hopes that teachers will lend a hand with streamlining the delivery of the kindness curriculum.
The community and WHS students also voiced their opinions recently in regard to a reshuffling of teachers at Wooster High School, starting a chain reaction that persuaded administrators to reconsider their plans in response to the public’s compassionate outrage.
In regard to plans to place Tracy McElroy, Communications teacher, at the helm of both the BLADE and Legacy yearbook instead of the current advising duo of Brett and Kristi Hiner, the administration has decided to alter those plans.
McElroy will, instead, be anchored in a co-teaching position with Kristi Hiner, BLADE adviser, for one period a day and Brett Hiner, Legacy adviser, for another period.
McElroy will likely spend the rest of her day in various duties and more than one eighth grade communications teaching assignment that has not yet been finalized, and will be determined by Superintendent Dr. Michael Tefs, according to Keener.
Keener described the unfolding of the public discussion and reasoning behind the administration and board’s ultimate decision.
“I would like to say that the community has stood up for what they want, and the board has listened. I think it has been, not just a community thing, but I think it’s a collaboration. When you have a contract, and you follow the contract, you have things that come up, such as this specific situation. Is it the most financially viable solution? There’s a reason I make recommendations, looking at our course loads and schedules… A big responsibility on my end is, am I being as responsible as I need to be, fiscally? In light of everything that has taken place, I think people are absolutely going to ask that question. Is the co-teaching model the best use of our money? I think there are people who will fall on both sides of that argument,” Keener said.
Tefs did not to respond to The Wooster Blade’s interview request. However, in a statement released to The Daily Record, released on May 7, Tefs stated, “The affected personnel exemplify everything that is Wooster.”
As a result of the new co-teaching plan, the high school is potentially looking to hire an additional full-time English teacher, according to Keener, who emphasized that the hiring decision is not final.
When asked about on which things the BOE would like to see improvement, board member Sue Herman, said, “I’d like to see more open dialogue…I think transparency is one of the keys, that’s something I would really like to see.”
Students can expect many subtle differences when they look to the coming school year.