Wanting the same choice of classes at Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South high schools, District 86 administrators and faculty will prepare a course catalog for the district. From that comprehensive list of courses, teachers and administrators from each school will choose which classes to include in their school’s curriculum guide.
Ultimately, which classes are taught at each school will depend on how many students sign up for them.
“Enrollment will still drive course offerings,” said Acting Superintendent Bruce Law.
Board member Michael Kuhn was adamantly opposed to the idea and voted against it.
“Each school should continue to maintain its own catalogue,” Kuhn said.
Law said each school would continue to have its own booklet of course offerings. But those courses would be selected from a district catalogue. Part of the reason is to make course numbers, names and descriptions, for classes such as English 9 or Algebra consistent between the schools.
But the larger goal is to give students more choices. In a memo to the School Board, Law said creating a district course catalogue would be part of a thorough review the district plans to conduct “to ensure that a guaranteed and viable curriculum is available to all students, and all students have the same rich curricular opportunities.”
Some people were concerned a district catalogue would take away the teachers’ and department chairs’ ability to develop curriculum they think is appropriate specifically for their students.
Rick Cazzato, a resident, parent and teacher, said he would not want one school’s courses to be imposed on the other.
Kuhn, too, said he did not want to make the courses one size fits all.
School Board President Claudia Manley said when her child attended Hinsdale South, he did not have access to the same courses offered at Hinsdale Central.
“Are you against equal opportunity for our students?” Manley asked Kuhn.
Kuhn explained he saw developing a district catalogue as changing how the curriculum is developed at each school.
But the board voted 6-1 to create the catalogue.
Law said the goal is to have the catalogue ready for registration next school year.