Schools will put more emphasis on technology

December 06, 1992|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Staff Writer

Technology's in, tradition's out for Harford schools.

"I like wooden bowls or a piece of furniture as much as anyone, but we can't afford to teach that anymore," said William B. Seccurro, supervisor for vocational and technical education for the county school system.

Traditional classes like woodworking will be phased out of most high schools over the next three years, he said. That's just one of many changes for next year's ninth-graders because of new graduation requirements enacted by the state board of education in July.

Freshmen also will have to take a mandatory technology course, more advanced math classes and another credit in social studies.

Harford will continue to demand -- as it has for the last 18 years -- that students take one credit of physical education and a half credit of health to graduate. For the first time, the state will require a half credit of health and has decreased its physical education requirement to one-half credit.

"We feel decreasing the phys-ed requirement would be a serious mistake. We are promoting fitness for life, that everyone should exercise every day," said Carl D. Roberts, the county's executive director for secondary education.

He said the school system plans to develop half-credit physical education electives, including courses in aerobics, weight training and modern dance. Mr. Roberts said students are more likely to maintain good exercise habits when they graduate if they can elect phys-ed courses they enjoy.

Mr. Roberts also said the school system wants to eliminate as many course prerequisites as possible.

Basic typing skills, for example, will be incorporated into the computer integrated applications course. That's good news to Lyn Ditmer, the parent of an eighth-grader.

She said her daughter had "wasted" a half-credit elective taking typing this year so she could take computer courses next year.

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