Two new courses added to Central for 2023

A new Career Internship class Is set to be introduced for the 2023 school year, helping students fulfill one requirement to receive an endorsement on their diploma.

Photo Source: District 203

A new Career Internship class Is set to be introduced for the 2023 school year, helping students fulfill one requirement to receive an endorsement on their diploma.

Jake Pfeiffer, News Editor

District 203 will add two new courses—Algebra 2: Modeling and Problem Solving, and Career Internship—to high school course offerings for the 2023-24 school year. 

The District 203 Board of Education approved the new courses on Oct. 17, allowing teams to meet and create the curriculum for classes next year.

New courses are generally added for one of two reasons, according to Steve Jeretina, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction.

“[New courses] come about as either fulfilling a need for something we don’t already have, or recognizing there’s an opportunity to enhance the student learning experience,” Jeretina said. 

Algebra 2: Modeling and Problem Solving was created in order to fulfill both of these purposes.

“Traditionally, math curriculum follows a pathway that leads students towards calculus,” Jeretina said. “This new class provides students the basis of Algebra 2, but in a pathway that [accommodates] students who maybe are not going to follow a career path that’s going to necessitate calculus.”

The new course will do this “through mathematical modeling and authentic applications in finance, data science, and design,” according to materials presented by Jayne Willard, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at the Oct. 3 school board meeting.

The focus on these concepts is intended to help students transition into AP Statistics, Quantitative Literacy and Business Precalculus.

“With the world being the way it is, good citizens ought to know what data science is,” said Andy Nussbaum, Central AP Statistics and Quantitative Literacy teacher. “My understanding is that [Algebra 2: Modeling and Problem Solving] is going to put a lot of algebra problems into that sort of context.”

Career Internship originated to fulfill a slightly different need. 

“There’s an Act in our state, [the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act], that makes offering college and career pathway endorsements required in all Illinois public high schools,” said Lynn Andrees, Career and Technical Education department chair. “We already have six. We have the pathways built, and part of the endorsement is 60 hours of work based learning, basically an internship.”

Career Internship was created to make completing these pathways easier. 

“This course is embedding those 60 hours into a course, so students don’t have to work 60 hours outside of school” Andrees said. “It’s very flexible, just providing students a variety of ways to get these work based hours.”

The course will also help students prepare for those internships.

“The course brings in a blended learning component that does a lot of the preparation for ‘How am I going to present myself to an employer or internship partner?’” Jeretina said. “Developing that resume, those skills of marketability and giving you the opportunity while building those skills in the classroom.”

A six-student pilot of the Career Internship is currently being run in Central’s IT career pathway, and the results have been promising, Andrees said.

“It seemed like there was quite a demand for [the pilot],” Andrees said. “We feel pretty confident that [the class] is going to go well.”

Students will not be guaranteed an internship, but will have the opportunity to find their own if needed.

Career Internship’s benefits range beyond merely fulfilling hours, according to Jeretina.

“It’s going to allow someone to explore something they’re interested at a much deeper level,” Jeretina said. “Having that opportunity to intern with a company gives you a great idea of ‘is this something I want to spend my life doing?’”

Both courses are set to begin further development.

“We’ve identified members of the curriculum team,” Jeretina said. “We’re going to take the course and really develop it into what that looks like in the day-to-day. That way, come August next year, it’s ready for rollout and we have the resources that we need to hit the ground running.”