Greencastle High School students will find some new offerings as they begin to choose their classes for the 2012-2013 school year.
The Greencastle School Board approved the addition of five new classes to the GHS curriculum during Wednesday's monthly meeting.
The new classes will include Latin V, Introduction to Culinary Arts, Film Literature, College Entrance Preparation and physical education through the alternative method of IHSAA-approved sports.
All five courses were previously approved by the corporation's curriculum committee.
The physical education proposal prompted the most discussion among board members, as it represents a distinct change from how these credits have been handled in the past.
Students are required to complete two PE credits as part of all state-sanctioned diplomas. However, state law changed in recent years, allowing schools to offer PE credits through the participation in IHSAA-approved sports.
At GHS, sport participation for credit will have to be planned at the time of class enrollment. One sports season complete will equal one credit.
Credits and grades will not be a reflection of the athlete's playing time or performance. Completion of the season will result in an A grade on the student's GPA.
Corporation attorney Bob Rund pointed out one hang-up that could arise. Previous court cases regarding drug testing of athletes have hinged partially on the testing being tied to extra-curricular activities and not the curriculum.
Tying sports to the curriculum, even in very limited cases, could muddy the waters.
He went on to say, though, that in two years this practice has been state policy, the drug testing standards have not been challenged.
Besides this concern, the proposal met with generally positive comments from administrators and the board.
"I do like the alternative it gives to our students," Superintendent Lori Richmond said.
The College Entrance Preparation was also the subject of some discussion, with Assistant Superintendent Dawn Puckett explaining it will be designed to help students prepare for taking the SAT and ACT exams as well as other parts of the college entrance process.
Puckett explained the course could be tailored to a student's specific needs based on shortcomings in the PSAT test, which is administered to all high school sophomores.
The course will be open to other students as an elective, even if they did not struggle with any portion of the PSAT.
The board also approved one-year extensions of the contracts of eight school administrators. Those receiving extensions are high school Assistant Principal Russ Hesler, middle school Principal Tamra Walker, middle school Assistant Principal Scott Weltz, Tzouanakis Principal Jon Strube, Deer Meadow Principal Gwen Morris, Ridpath Principal Shawn Gobert, Director of Special Services Kim Sullivan and Assistant Superintendent Puckett.
Most notable among the 29 personnel items the board approved were the retirement of Ruth Schroeder as Human Resources Director, effective Jan. 4, and the resignation of Lacy Newland as Deer Meadow kindergarten teacher, effective Jan. 25.
Newland has spent the school year working part time in a job share with Melissa Ames. Richmond said Ames will be taking over the class full time and parents of the affected students have been notified.
Other personnel items included:
* Approval of Dan TeGrotenhuis as administration support at Deer Meadow.
* Resignations: Jayme Barber as payroll clerk and Janet Brown as full-time bus driver.
* Transfer of Stephanie Hudson to Ridpath instructional assistant.
* Hiring of James "Cole" Doyle as GMS instructional assistant.
* Substitute hirings: Patricia Stitzle, Lori Lewis and Sam Linette as substitute teachers; Shelly Tahtinen as substitute custodian; Don Blanton as substitute bus driver; and Tena Brooks at substitute nurse.
* Extracurricular hires: Travis Nicholson as GHS assistant baseball coach; Jack Scanland, Matt Welker, Josh King, Greg Chestnut, David Wood and Doug Nally as GHS volunteer lay baseball coaches; Jeff Vermillion as GHS wrestling lay coach; Lyndie Alspaugh as assistant GHS softball coach; Tony Judy as GHS softball volunteer lay coach; Craig Callahan as GHS boys' assistant track coach; and Trent Scott and David Brooks as GHS boys' track lay coach.