Easton Schools Want More Focus on Science
Test scores close to state average, but Easton school officials worry students aren't spending enough time on science.
At Easton Area High School, students need to take four years of history and four years of English, but only three years of math and science.
Tuesday night's school board committee meeting had school officials asking whether it's time for that to change.
"It kind of perplexes me that, nothing wrong with history, nothing wrong with English…but math and science, we have one less credit," said board member William Rider.
This came up during a presentation by high school Principal Michael Koch on the high school's science scores in the state PSSA tests.
In the past four years, Easton students have ranked below the state average when it came to science scores.
Koch's presentation noted that the school's flexible scheduling next year will give students more time in the lab, something board member Robert Moskaitis said is important for students to have.
"Science is an experimental activity," he said. "You could no more teach science without experiments than could you teach a child a music instrument by reading sheet music."
Parent Jill Nathanson said she wishes the district placed more emphasis on science fairs, noting that her daughter participated in them throughout elementary school, only to see them stop in the first three years of middle school.
She talked about taking her daughter to a regional fair recently, and being inspired by "these huge groups of students who are excited about science," before adding:
"All these students are sending bus loads of students…and there were maybe three, four, five kids from Easton."
Koch said that just because students aren't required to take four years of science doesn't mean that they only take four years. In a class of about 600 kids, 300 will usually take the elective forth year of science.
He told board members it wouldn't be easy to make science a requirement for all four years of high school.
"Would they call for an increase in staff? Absolutely," he said. "We don’t have an inifinite supply of resources."
Tuesday's meeting -- held at Forks Elementary School -- will be the last committee meeting until September. The next regular board meeting is scheduled for June 26.