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West Jeff preps students for success after high school
Educators at West Jefferson High School want students to know learning does not stop once they get their diplomas.
High school guidance counselor Jeannette Haskins said staff returned from summer break with renewed energy and enthusiasm for promoting education and training past the secondary level.
“As a general rule of thumb, more education means more money and you are less likely to be unemployed,” said Haskins at the Oct. 8 school board meeting. “I strongly promote some type of education or training beyond high school. You need to start having that conversation earlier with students.”
According to Haskins, some opportunities impact smaller numbers of students—such as the school’s lone advanced placement art student studying three-dimensional presentations—while others benefit larger numbers of students, like dual enrollment in government classes.
Peer tutoring benefits students on both sides of the desk. The program focuses on math and science; Haskins said the district hopes to add other academic areas.
“We’re really starting to share Web resources with students,” added Haskins. “We need to focus on letting students know what Web resources are out there and how to use them. Www.khanacademy.org is an incredible resource for science and math. Students were amazed that it existed. Www.infohio.org has multiple resources such as eBooks and digital video.”
Sophomores will get to explore oppor-tunities at Tolles Career and Technical Center in November.
In February, the guidance department is sponsoring a Post Secondary Enrollment Option information night for students and parents. The option allows students to ob-tain college credit while still in high school. The department is also holding a sopho-more and junior parent meeting in March.
Early results for the college-level EXPLORE placement exams indicate West Jefferson freshmen are doing slightly bet-ter on the test (which measures readiness in English, science, reading and math) than the national average, but female students are outpacing their male counterparts in all categories. The PLAN pre-placement test is administered to sophomores.
Both tests are part of a College and Career Readiness System created by ACT Inc. By participating in the program, administrators hope that students considering a college career will be better equipped to assess their potential. While college entrance exams like the ACT and SAT are optional, all students take the preparatory tests in ninth and 10th grade.
Haskins said the school is offering free ACT prep sessions from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sundays. The Oct. 14 session will focus on reading. The Oct. 21 session will focus on science. The sessions are open to all West Jefferson High School students.
In addition, an ACT Boot Camp will be held Nov. 29 at London High School. The cost is $35.
“There are so many things going on at the high school that go beyond the four walls,” Haskins said. “We’re working to ensure our students’ education does not end with graduation.”
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