DANVILLE — Members of the Danville District 118 school board on Wednesday approved several new courses to be offered at Danville High School starting next school year.
The new offerings include a college prep math course, a chamber ensemble music class, a botany class, two dual-credit social studies classes: Western Civilization I & II, and an Introduction to Family and Food Sciences class.
Board members also reviewed a proposal for a business entrepreneurship class that would be offered next school year. The family and food sciences class and the business entrepreneurship class are both part of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.
The college prep math class will allow DHS students to take it for free at the high school rather than pay to take a remedial math course if they attend Danville Area Community College after high school graduation.
The two dual-credit social studies classes will earn DHS students college credit while they are still in high school.
Introduction to Family and Food Sciences will focus on four areas: nutrition, sanitation and wellness; food resources and preparation; family dynamics and development; and visual and apparel merchandising and hospitality foundations.
Board member Lon Henderson said he has been stopped in grocery stores and restaurants by parents who are excited to have food sciences return to the high school. He added that people also have asked whether food sciences would be offered starting in the seventh grade.
The business entrepreneurship class, which is part of the CTE program’s third-year expansion plans, would be for juniors and seniors and include a business incubator.
Local businesspeople would be recruited to sit on a board of directors or be part of the instruction themselves. Teams of two or three students would develop projects in the incubator that they would present to Shark Tank-like experts.
Todd Burch, who teaches economics and principles of business, would be in charge of the business entrepreneurship class.
“If you’ve seen Shark Tank, you’ll see where this is going,” he said. “The students will work together as a team to bring forth a project.”
Burch said CTE already has received a grant from Burlington to help fund the startup of the business incubator.
“There’s public support out there for this,” he said, adding there is no shortage of student interest in the class either. “I have a student who already has formed a nonprofit corporation, and some of my students will fix your iPhone for a fee.
“I want to attract the student who might be put off by accounting,” he said of the class.
Also on Wednesday, board members:
• Reviewed a first reading of the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting/igrow program memorandum of understanding which is a partnership between District 118 and other county, state and federal agencies to serve Vermilion County children and families through home visiting programs. The partnership connects families to resources and supports — such as health care, development service, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention and nutritional education or assistance — to make a difference in a child’s health, development and ability to learn.
• Approved updates to the Board of Education policy, which includes identifying all single-occupancy restrooms as all-gender as required by law for public schools.
• Reviewed a first reading of the district’s math audit and math instruction improvement plan. The math audit was conducted to ensure student growth, attainment, rigor and problem solving. The recommendations to support student growth include SAT professional development with the DHS math department, K-12 support in math lesson planning, professional development regarding math approaches and strategies within the school day and after school hours, modeling in the classroom and refining math scope and sequences.
The board adopted the math instruction improvement plan and approved hiring math consultant Cathy Shide, who conducted the audit and outlined the improvement plan, to serve as a districtwide math coach at $1,000 a day. The total cost of consultation will be $23,000 and will be paid for with district funds.
• Heard about a new video scoreboard in the DHS gymnasium that was donated anonymously.
Business Director Heather Smith said businesses and companies can pay to have logos to digitally appear on the scoreboard screen, with the proceeds from the advertising going to the DHS athletic department.
• Approved a bid of $351,400 from King-Lar of Decatur for the purchase and installation of a new dehumidifier system for the pool at DHS. The system will replace original equipment from 1991.
“We have money set aside for the project,” Buildings and Grounds Director Skip Truex said, adding that he expects the project to begin as soon as school ends for the summer and to be completed by Aug. 8.
• Approved Reifsteck-Reid & Co. Architects of Champaign to conduct a 10-year Health Life Safety survey of all the district’s buildings at a cost of $127,000.