Fulton Schools May Add Two Tough Senior-Level Courses

Two new courses may be coming to G. Ray Bodley High School next year, as teachers propose ways to keep top students engaged in their senior year.

Science teacher Nate Murray is proposing a science elective on meteorology, while math teacher Penny Downing is proposing a course called applied trigonometry.

The teachers told the Board of Education recently that the courses would require no extra spending, except for textbooks.

Murray and science department chair Marty Gillard told the board that science electives are getting more popular.  More than half of all students take a fourth year of science, even though only three years of science are required.  Many college-bound students take a senior physics course that gives them three college credits.

Gillard said Murray is a weather fanatic who’s been working on the curriculum for the meteorology course for three years.  He said most of the materials for the course, except for textbooks, are already on hand.  “We think we can offer the elective and set it up in such a way that we don’t have any spending on stuff,” he said.

Downing said that the applied trig class would be “rigorous”, an attempt to bridge the gap between high school and college math.  “My hope is that there will be more students who earn the Regents diploma with advanced (math) designation because they’d have more time to learn the material,” she said.

The textbooks for the course are already in the district, she said.