School board to vote on new courses at next meeting

Two new learning pathways, as well as two new courses for Palo Alto High School were brought to the Board of Education for further consideration at the meeting that took place last week, and the school board will vote on these courses at the next meeting, which takes place on Feb. 11.

The school board discussed a new nanotechnology course for the 2014-15 school year. The contents of the course include exploring the myths and realities of nanotechnology, self-assembly, nanomagnets, scanning probe microscopy, nano-engineered fabrics and memory wires, biomimicry and nano-medicine, according to the Paly course catalog.

The two pathways, sports and social justice, would guide students with a series classes in order for students to gain a larger understanding of the respective subjects

“The goal of this program is to help students get internships … there’s tons of flexibility in this program,” said Lucy Filppu, who currently teaches English and is on the developing team for this pathway. “The goal is whether you’re going to a four-year college … or you’re going to take a gap year, or you’re going to Foothill, you can take your business skills and your love of sports and get a real job.”

The social justice pathway aims to help students pursue their goals of volunteering and making improvements to the community they live in, according to Eric Bloom, who teaches economics and is on the team that is currently developing the social justice pathway.

“Our goal was to create opportunities for high flyers and struggling students to engage, thrive and do real service in the community that they live in, while meeting an A-G requirement, and really change the world,” Bloom said.

The childhood development class being considered would be a semester long course for 10th-12th graders, according to principal Kim Diorio.

“The students will spend one day at Paly in the classroom … then would spend two days in what we’re calling a lab setting,” Diorio said. “We would be going over to Greendell school … working directly with our three, four, and five year olds.”

Senior Addie McNamara, who is the current student school board representative, voiced her opinion on the new pathways and courses at the meeting.

“I think all of the classes seem amazing… as for the pathways, I think it’s really important that we provide for different people’s interests and let them explore those; especially with regards to sports and social justice,” McNamara said.