School Board Discusses Educational Model at Forum
The State College School Board held a public forum Wednesday night updating the community on changes to the educational model that's supposed to go with the new high school.
State College High School Principal Scott DeShong gave a quick overview of the plan, that is supposed to bring students closer to each other as well to their teachers.
As of now, the school is broken up by departments, meaning all classes in one area of study are near each other. Under the new plan students are able to see their teachers more than once a day.
Upperclassmen would have more collaborative time in their schedules to help create more relationships with teachers across the curriculum. Ninth graders would also take a seminar class that would allow them to interact more with upperclassmen.
The school district's Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprick also broke down "educational specifications" such as how many students will be in certain areas.
State College Area School District Superintendent Robert O'Donnell addressed some concerns he has heard about the project, such as how much of the North building will be demolished in the process of constructing a new building. O'Donnell said the school district does not know yet, but that studies are being done as to the specifics of the project.
O'Donnell also said the new project will, somehow, incorporate a better way to mitigate flooding on the north side of campus.
The board voted Monday, after much deliberation to use Concept D as a plan for the new high school design. This plan will include major renovations to the South building so that core classes can all be held on the same side of the street. Portions of the North building will still be available for student and community use.
Board President Penni Fishbaine said that this plan supports safety and security, and also allows for more flexibility with learning communities.
The board also approved plans to hold a voter referendum on the high school project in May, allowing additional time for development of the project specifications, including floor plans, campus parking and storm water management.
A $115 million spending cap for the project was also approved Monday night.