SWR looking to bring back canceled business electives

by |
04/30/2014 10:00 AM |
The Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education discussed better ways to handle dropped electives at its meeting Tuesday night. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

The Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education discussed better ways to handle dropped electives at its meeting Tuesday night. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

Shoreham-Wading River School District administrators are looking to restore two high school business courses that were recently dropped due to a lack of enrollment. 

During the school board’s regular meeting Tuesday night, high school principal Dan Holtzman said college business law and college business accounting were cancelled for the 2014-15 school year because not enough students signed up to take those electives.

About 12 students signed up for business law and 10 students enrolled in accounting, both below  the district minimum of 15 students in a class, he said.

When the master schedule was recently completed without those electives, Mr. Holtzman said he experienced more complaints from parents and students than from any class the school has dropped in the past.

“I had a conversation today with a parent that wanted the course for a student that didn’t even put it on their initial requests,” he said. “Now it’s three months later. The master schedule has been made and now they’re asking for a course that doesn’t exist.”

School board member Jack Costas criticized the scheduling process that’s based on students filling out a form ranking which courses they’re interested in and said he believes more planning is needed.

“The department is called ‘guidance’ not ‘processing,’” Mr. Costas told Mr. Holtzman. “Remember that.”

School board member Sean Beran suggested combining sections of introductory courses into one class in order to provide students with a college experience, while freeing up some funds to pay for more electives.

For example, he said five sections of the introduction to criminal justice course could be combined into one class that meets in the auditorium. He believes students will benefit from it because the setting is similar to that of a traditional college course. Savings from the reduction in sections could also pay for electives that miss the district’s enrollment requirement by a few students, he added.

Other school board members said they want to be informed about future classes in danger of cancellation.

Superintendent Steven Cohen agreed to provide the school board with a list of classes that have less than 15 students enrolled.

Mr. Cohen said next year’s adopted budget is flexible enough to add a couple of classes and his administration will let the school board know how many students are now interested in taking the college business courses.

jennifer@timesreview.com