Warren Woods school board approves new courses

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published June 27, 2023


WARREN — Plans are underway to implement three new courses in the Warren Woods Public Schools district for the 2023-2024 school year.

In recent months, the Warren Woods Public Schools Board of Education approved the different classes that cover science, history and government.

School officials are in the process of adopting the Kesler Science curriculum for grades 6-8 at Warren Woods Middle School.

Experienced educators designed the Kesler Science curriculum, which aligns with Michigan’s science standards. The program will include hands-on activities for students and collaborative learning. In lieu of textbooks, teachers will have access to digital subscriptions that they will use to teach the course material.

The science lessons were designed based on the 5E Model of instruction. The research-based teaching method places the responsibility for learning in the students’ hands by guiding them through five stages: engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate.

Kesler Science offers continuing support for students that includes professional development opportunities, webinars and community forums. The last time the district updated the middle school science curriculum was in 2002.

Warren Woods Tower High School will have two new elective courses: women in history, and Advanced Placement United States government and politics.

“It’s a large effort to try to expand the elective offerings for students,” district Curriculum Director Kara Beal said. “We’re fortunate the teachers in the departments were on board with creating more electives for students. They did a lot of the legwork.”

The women in history class is one semester and will provide students with an understanding of the experiences and challenges women faced throughout history. A total of 21 students have shown interest in taking the course.

The course will focus on the contributions women made in science, sports, government, art and literature. The new class is designed to foster critical thinking skills while the students develop their perspectives on historical events.

The Advanced Placement United States government and politics class will focus on the key concepts and institutions of the U.S. political system. Students in the class will read, analyze, and discuss the U.S. Constitution and other documents. The students also will be required to complete a research or applied civics project. At press time, 27 students were interested in the one-semester class.

The course will include the following five units: foundations of American democracy; interactions among branches of government; civil liberties and civil rights; American political ideologies and beliefs; and political participation. The course is open to 10th, 11th and 12th grade students.

Beal said the course will be taught with a neutral approach.

“It will teach kids how to be critical thinkers,” she said. “It will require a lot of reading and writing.”

The AP United States government and politics class will provide students with the opportunity to connect political concepts to real-life situations. Through their studies, students will analyze data to find patterns and trends in which they can draw conclusions. During the semester, the students also will explore the impact of certain U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Educators look forward to implementing the new courses.

“We’re trying to increase options for the students,” Warren Woods Tower High School Principal Michael Mackenzie said. “It gives kids more choices. It helps them to earn college credit depending on how well they do and what college (they attend.)”

Students have already filled out their class selections for next year, and both classes already have students enrolled.

“As of right now we have enough students signed up for each of the classes,” Mackenzie said.