The Kaneland District 302 School Board approved six new course proposals and the renaming of three courses and made several modifications to high school graduation requirements during its meeting Nov. 13.
The changes, which were approved on the first reading, will be adapted for inclusion in the 2024-25 Kaneland High School Coursebook if approved at the next meeting.
“This is a huge credit to our teachers in the high school building,” said Patrick Raleigh, Kaneland’s director of educational services 6-12. “They’ve done phenomenal work.”
Addam Gonzales, Ryan Kleisner, Bob Mankivsky, Aaron McCauley and Jennifer Simmons voted in favor of all the changes. Edmund Koch was absent. Aaron Lawler, who is a professor at Waubonsee Community College, abstained.
The new courses include Transitions to Quantitative Literacy, Dual Credit College Algebra, Food Science, Animal Health and Nutrition, AP Psychology and AP Calculus, which is being integrated to offer dual credit.
Transitions to Quantitative Literacy is a semester-long math elective that’s intended to prepare Kaneland seniors for a general education college-level math course. It serves as a prerequisite for Dual Credit College Mathematics.
Dual Credit College Algebra also is a semester-long math elective. Students who complete this course will receive three General Education Mathematics credits to the equivalency of MTH 101 at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove.
In Food Science, which will be offered every other year beginning in 2024-2025 and then again in 2026-27, students will learn the science behind cooking and baking.
“Our food class is doing some really, really cool things and that is kind of the hook that kids are getting around,” Raleigh said. “They’ve had a chance to go in and sample some good [things] and look at business plans and art for food trucks and recipes and they’re doing some really neat things, but we don’t want it to just be a fun, cool class.”
The course prepares students to use the scientific process to study the biological and chemical basis for food fermentation, preservation, processing and preparation. Emphasis is placed on emerging careers in food science and biotechnology and the application of food science in food service, nutrition, dietetics and product development. Students must successfully complete Food and Nutrition and two years of science to be eligible for the course.
Animal Health and Nutrition will be a life science course that prepares students for careers in animal health and nutrition. Especially beneficial for those considering careers such as animal nutritionist, feed mill operator, pet groomer, veterinarian and more, students who take this class are qualified to join the National Future Farmers of America organization. Participation in FFA student organization activities and Supervised Agricultural Experience projects is an integral course component for leadership development, career exploration and reinforcement of academic concepts.
A full-year social studies elective course, AP Psychology will introduce students to the systemic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. The course is designed to be the equivalent of the Introduction to Psychology course usually taken during the first year of college. This is a junior-senior level course and will fulfill an elective credit.
AP Calculus AB becomes a dual credit offering. Waubonsee Community College requires a $36 registration fee for students who register for dual credit.
A few course names will change to provide clarity and more accurate descriptions of curriculum and instruction. Armed Conflict will be titled History of Armed Conflict. World History 1 will become Ancient World History. World History 2 will be known as Modern World History. The content of the courses will not change.
Applications of Technology will be changed to Orientation Level Career Tech Education for the same half credit. Since there are no state requirements specific to Kaneland’s Applications of Technology course, students can take a non-Applications of Technology course and still fulfill all state requirements for CTE and graduation.
“We wanted to make sure if there was a student that had a desire for a particular CTE pathway that we started them in that pathway as early as possible,” Raleigh said.
Biology, Chemistry Content, Physics Content and Environmental Content, which are specific only to Kaneland at a half credit, respectively, will be renamed to align to state language as Life Science and Physical Science at 1.0 credit while allowing for more individualized course selection by students.
“Kaneland is the only school district in the surrounding area that breaks that content into those four specific courses,” Raleigh said. “Every other high school surrounding us and in comparable districts has it listed at what we’re proposing as Life Science or Physical Science or just requires two credits of science.”