Students can’t get down to business

Since budget cuts last summer prompted the elimination of business courses at Coupeville High School, some students have been having difficulty trying to meet the occupational requirements needed to graduate.

Without the business classes, options students have to take the two “occupational classes” needed for graduation have diminished. They are left with woodworking, welding, leadership and yearbook to meet the requirement.

“It hasn’t hit us as hard yet as it will in the future,” high school Principal Sheldon Rosenkrance said during Monday’s school board meeting.

He said many of the current students have already met the graduation requirement while others are taking classes at Skagit Valley College through the Running Start program. There are also classes, such as material science technology, that offer cross credit and meet more than one requirement.

But these are stop-gap measures, and Rosenkrance said the board needs to restore the business classes at the high school.

The business classes were cut when the former business teacher retired and school officials didn’t hire a replacement.

The principal said that bringing business classes back to the high school is high on his priority list.

As school leaders try figure out the way to return business courses to the high school, they are also occupied with finding ways to improve the math program. Last year’s WASL scores showed a decline in math skills.

David Ebersole, middle school principal, said that pacing of the math courses remains an issue with students.

“We may have to address that with another course that keeps kids from falling too far behind,” Ebersole said during the meeting.

The state is working to change math requirements and schools may be mandated to add more math.

Currently, students at Coupeville High School have to take two years of math to graduate. Rosenkrance said that many students take more than two years of math, particularly those who are college bound.

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