Northampton Press

Thursday, August 22, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINNASD Superintendent of Schools Joseph S. Kovalchik, left, with NAHS Principal Luke Shafnisky after an NAHS Program of Studies 2019-20 school board presentation Nov. 5 PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINNASD Superintendent of Schools Joseph S. Kovalchik, left, with NAHS Principal Luke Shafnisky after an NAHS Program of Studies 2019-20 school board presentation Nov. 5

Changes proposed to NAHS studies

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 by Paul Willistein in Local News

Program revisions said to be result of ‘regular conversations with students’

The Northampton Area High School Program of Studies for 2019-20 is expected to be voted on at the 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19 Northampton Area School District Board of Education meeting in the administration building, 2014 Laubach Ave., Northampton.

Proposed changes to the program were unveiled by NAHS Principal Luke Shafnisky and NAHS Assistant Principal Kimberly Levin at the Nov. 5 school board meeting.

“It starts as soon as school starts,” Levin said of the planning and revisions to the program. “We’re trying to integrate the rigor and relevance of our course work.”

“We are having regular conversations with our students to prepare them for college courses or careers,” she said.

As of Oct. 31, there were 1,875 NAHS students. There are about 120 teachers at the high school.

“We’ve done a better job in communicating one on one with students,” NASD Assistant Superintendent Robert J. Steckel Jr. said.

General updates:

Updates in the NAHS Program of Studies under consideration by the NASD board include:

Graduation requirement changes in effect for the Class of 2022 and beyond;

Elimination of class rank for Class of 2022 and beyond; and

Advanced Placement (AP) course drop deadline of June 30, 2019.

“We will recognize the top fifth of the class at graduation,” Shafnisky told school directors.

“Instead of a valedictorian, we will institute a speaker selection process,” he added.

Shafnisky emphasized that class ranking would still be available for students’ college applications.

Regarding the AP deadline, Levin said, “It just allows us to better decide on personnel.”

Following are proposed Program of Studies changes by subject.

Business and Computer Technology:

Remove former name for HTML course.


Add Online Honors English 11.

Clarify prerequisite and selection process for College-Ready English 12.

Change AP English 12 name to include Literature and Composition.

“We’ll have two distinct courses next year,” Shafnisky said.

Family and Consumer Sciences:

No changes.

“We had to outfit a second room for baking,” Shafnisky said.

Fine and Digital Arts:

Remove semester version of Imagineering Workshop.

“We wanted to make sure they had a full course,” Shafnisky said.

Health and Physical Education:

Revise course description for Secondary Health.

Clarify graduation requirement (Health Education does not count for Physical Education requirement).

Add prerequisite to Intro to Sports Medicine.

Change price for Red Cross certification from $27 to $28.


Add course progression diagram.

Change prerequisites for Honors College Algebra and Honors Precalculus.

Revise calculator requirements for AP Calculus classes.

Clarify prerequisites and selection process for College-Ready Math. Add verbiage to course description to clarify college credit.


Revise description for iSing course. This will become available to all students.


Add course progression diagram.

Split Environmental Science into two courses — Ecology and People, Science & the Environment.

Add Honors Microbiology course.

Social Studies:

Add course progression diagram and explanation of required courses.

Revise U.S. History II, III course descriptions.

Revise Civics & Government course descriptions.

Revise AP U.S. Government course description.

Add writing lab requirement and extra 0.1 credit for AP U.S. History and AP European History.

Remove all AM & PM Modern Global and Psychology options.

Revise AP Psychology course description.

Revise AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics prerequisites.

Special Education:

Remove Supplemental Social Studies B.

World Languages:

Remove Honors Spanish II and Honors German II.

Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School:

Remove Fashion Industries course.

Add Computer Networking course.

Levin and Shafnisky met Aug. 30. A meeting of the NAHS department chairs was held Sept. 5. Discussions continued through Sept. 25. Revised course descriptions were discussed Sept. 26 with Shafnisky. Proposed changes were presented to the NAHS guidance department Oct. 10 and to the NAHS curriculum department Oct. 23. Copies were distributed to school directors Oct. 31.

The NASD school board meets the first and third Mondays in November, rather than the usual second and fourth Mondays, because of the Thanksgiving Day holiday schedule. NASD schools are closed Nov. 21, 22, 23 and 26.