Pelham BOE adopts course guide with academies

The Pelham Board of Education approved the 2015-2016 Course Selection Overview for Pelham High School. The guide includes core subjects and specialized course "pathways" called academies. (File)

The Pelham Board of Education approved the 2015-2016 Course Selection Overview for Pelham High School. The guide includes core subjects and specialized course “pathways” called academies. (File)

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

PELHAM – The Pelham Board of Education approved Pelham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield’s recommendation to adopt the Pelham High School 2015-2016 Course Selection Overview during a meeting March 23.

PCS Curriculum Coordinator Dr. Elisabeth Davis explained the Course Selection Overview and how it relates to Alabama’s Plan 2020 Vision of “every child being prepared” for college or a career after high school.

“We want kids to be engaged,” Davis said. “It benefits not just the student; it benefits the school.”

The Course Selection Overview will incorporate specialized courses of study called academies, which will provide students with experiences, insights and skills targeted at college and career readiness and other post-secondary opportunities, Davis said.

Davis said academies will include “lots of different pathways,” such as engineering, fine arts, health science and law.

Students will still be required to complete core subjects like English and math every academic year.

“We want them to finish one pathway, but kids still don’t know what to do sometimes, so we want them to dabble in others,” Davis said.

Davis and PHS Principal Jason Yohn spearheaded efforts to form the 2015-2016 Course Selection Overview.

“The reason we wanted to do this is because we wanted to be different,” Yohn said. “Hopefully, it will make us better performing. Kids can go into the workforce, go into college or go into the military and be successful.”

Coefield noted the new curriculum offerings would bring “lots of change,” but would ultimately put Pelham students on the same level as students elsewhere after they graduate.

“I knew that we had to put a curriculum together that would be exciting and competitive in this area,” Coefield said. “All of these things – these academies – are things we have to do. I’m excited about this.”