ST. CLOUD -- The St. Cloud Area School District will be offering two new classes next year. At Wednesday night's meeting, the school board approved the Science of Reading Foundations and Somali for Native Speakers as new courses for the 2021-2022 school year.

Executive Director of Learning and Teaching Lori Posch says course proposals can come from staff as well as students and families.

Teachers propose them and our learning and teaching staff does as they work with our building content reps and look at data. Administrators propose suggestions for new courses, and one of the things we want to do is to increase student voice in the offerings. Although we have done that informally and our teachers have gone back and talked with students we want to add in a more formal student voice to our process.

Formal course applications are then submitted and reviewed by building principals, the learning and teaching team, the advisory council, assistant superintendents, the superintendent's cabinet, and finally the school board.

Both new classes will be offered to ninth through twelfth graders at Apollo High School, McKinley-ALC, and Tech High School.

The Science of Reading Foundations course will be a trimester-long elective, and in some cases, students will be placed in the class as part of dyslexia legislation fulfillment.

Somali for Native Speakers will be a year-long world language option with the goal of helping those students work towards earning a bilingual seal from MDE. The district already offers Spanish for Native Speakers and will be looking at adding Somali for Non-Native Speakers in the future.

Over the last couple of years, the district has added a Certified Nursing Assistant course, Minnesota Wildlife Biology, Net Games, and Guitar.

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