New course offerings for next year, the proposed issuance of a facilities bond and a $250,000 donation to Jordan Middle School are among the topics up for discussion by the Palo Alto Board of Education Tuesday, April 22.
The new courses, all proposed for Palo Alto High School, include computer science, early childhood development and a new, three-year "sports career pathway" which would encompass an introductory class called "Getting into the Game," internships, and already existing classes in kinesiology, sports literature and photojournalism.
In February, the board approved other new courses for next year: marine biology at Gunn High School, a "social justice pathway" at Paly, a nanotechnology class to be offered for both Gunn and Paly students in partnership with Foothill College and middle school classes in human geography, finance and exploratory language.
Also on the school board's docket Tuesday is a proposed $40 million bond issuance, which would be the fourth under the $378 million "Strong Schools Bond" approved by voters in 2008.
The bonds have funded major construction and modernization on the district's 17 campuses, including a new gym at Gunn, a media arts building at Paly and two-story classroom buildings at both high schools, JLS Middle School and Duveneck, Fairmeadow and Ohlone elementary schools. Other projects, including a new performing arts center at Paly, have yet to break ground.
The board will also discuss a proposed donation of $250,000 to Jordan, which would help complete several projects long sought by the school's physical education department, including a $175,500 "walk path around the fields area."
Superintendent Kevin Skelly said the donor, who may wish to remain anonymous, "has a wonderful history of being supportive of young people in myriad ways."
"We are grateful for the fact that the donor has chosen to support the school's efforts to improve this field for students and the community," Skelly said.
Following a 5 p.m. closed session in which the board will discuss personnel, legal, labor and real estate negotiation issues, board members will meet in open session at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom of school district headquarters at 25 Churchill Ave.