Joel Fridgen elected Greencastle-Antrim School Board president, curriculum approved

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

The new president of the Greencastle-Antrim School Board presided over the Dec. 2 meeting, minutes after being elected by his peers. Joel Fridgen was chosen to replace Arnie Jansen, who resigned from the board due to work responsibilities. Mike Shindle was retained for his fourth term as vice president. Each term runs for one year.

Fridgen was elected to the board in 2009 and also serves on the Finance Committee and Franklin County Council of Governments. Though the president typically assigns board members to various committees, that action was postponed until January, when the successor to Jansen will be appointed. Applicants may submit letters of interest by Dec. 20 to Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover, 500 E. Leitersburg St., Greencastle.

Curriculum changes

High school principal Ed Rife informed the board of changes in the Program of Studies for 2011-12. Some were due to requirements pending for the Keystone Exams, which will be fully in place when this year’s seventh graders are in high school. Teachers and administrators worked for a year and a half developing new courses.

“We’re trying to be ahead of the game,” Rife said.

Ninth grade American History was changed to U.S. History, and 10th grade U.S. in Modern World Affairs to World History. State standards favored those courses, as well as Civics, which was kept intact.

Social Issues was dropped to make way for Economics, offered to juniors and seniors in a skinny period.

“We decided the kids needed that and the colleges want to see it on transcripts,” said Rife.

In the science department Physical Science was eliminated in order to offer two chemistry classes. The course will become a graduation requirement, with each based on a student’s math ability.

Wellness classes were expanded to offer more options for juniors and seniors. They will be able to take the traditional class, geared toward team sports, or choose more individualized activities, such as Fitness for Life, which incudes aerobic activities, or weight training/conditioning.

The school had a pilot program this year, and the choices were popular with students of all abilities, Rife said.

A skinny period both semesters will also allow students to take Introduction to Theater. It will not be required in order to participate in the Drama Club spring musical.

Student expelled

A 14-year-old freshman girl was expelled for the duration of first semester, but could return for second semester if she met expectations of the disciplinary actions. Rife said she brought Percocet and Vicodin to school Nov. 5 with the intent to give it to another student. As recommended by the Student Discipline Committee, she was placed in an alternative education program and must attend the Franklin County Drug and Alcohol Reality Tour. She will also be on social probation until June 2011. Rife said it was her first offense.