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Lake Central High School administrators blame state for elimination of popular classes

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Lake Central High School is dropping some popular classes, and administrators are blaming changes made at the state level.

Under a list of proposed courses presented to the school board Monday, merchandising would be replaced with digital marketing, while the semester-long business law and ethics class would be incorporated into a full year course on management fundamentals. Web design would also be eliminated as a stand-alone class, with students encouraged to take a digital apps course instead.

Assistant Principal Kari Regan said that's because the state decided to stop offering students credit for certain classes. "We were very disappointed, especially with business law and ethics," Regan told the school board. "It's still huge. Our students really enjoy that class."

While much of the same content will still be covered, Regan said many semester classes are being replaced with year-long courses, making them harder to fit in students' schedules. Lake Central was able to get a waiver to continue offering sports and entertainment marketing for one more year, but it'll no longer get career and technical education funding for it.

School leaders were more optimistic about a new math course. Assistant Principal Todd Smolinski said the Indiana Postsecondary Ready Investigative Mathematics Experience (PRIME) is designed for seniors who struggled with Algebra 2.

"It's this great opportunity for them to have a fourth-year math course where they don't have to go into the pre-calc or trig or statistics, and still kind of bridge that gap into college, where they're going to be ready for their first year of college," Smolinski explained.

Smolinski said studies have shown that students who take the class are more likely to go on to earn math credits in their first year of college.