BREWER, Maine — When the decision was made in March to switch to block scheduling at Brewer High School, the opportunity was created to add four new classes: forensic science, digital photography, astronomy and American history through genealogy.
Students have already started to enroll in the classes, which will be offered for the first time this fall, director of instruction Kathleen Kazmierczak told the Brewer School Committee on Monday night.
A total of 19 have already enrolled in forensic science, 20 in digital photography, nine in astronomy, and 18 in American history through genealogy for the first semester of the 2012-13 school year, she said.
“We’re pretty excited about it and obviously kids are, too,” Superintendent Daniel Lee said Tuesday.
Under the new block schedule, classes will be 80 minutes long and will meet every other day. Of the four new classes, only the history offering is a yearlong class. The other three are offered semester by semester.
“The challenge this year is to offer more elective classes that integrate math and sciences and have a relative curriculum for kids,” Lee said.
Another 43 students already have signed up for the new classes for the spring semester.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Kazmierczak said.
At Monday night’s meeting, the school board also:
• Approved a new Student Athlete Advisory Council at the high school, organized by new athletic director David Utterback, who was hired in May.
• Discussed a proposed policy to handle unpaid school lunch accounts, created in response to an “excessive amount of accounts receivable last year” that are still unpaid, Lee said. The board discussed possibly offering an alternate meal, which some members opposed, and earlier reminders to parents about overdue bills. An amended version of the proposed policy will be presented to the board at next month’s meeting.
• Approved a student trip to Washington, D.C., in November, just before the national elections, through the nonprofit Close Up educational program. Board member Janet McIntosh said both her children went through the program. “I think it will be a wonderful experience” for the students going, she said.