Program helps kids prep for college

Columbus City Schools Board of Education members addressed only one piece of legislation at a regularly scheduled board meeting Sept. 2.

The meeting included the passage of a resolution, recognizing the Kiwanis Club of Columbus for its sponsorship of the Columbus Kiwanis College Fair, now in its 29th year.

Board President Terry Boyd read the resolution, which explains that the college fair provides high school students and their parents “an excellent opportunity to explore college choices and options,” as well as gather information in regards to admissions and financial aid. The fair will also provide an opportunity for students to access the I Know I Can program, which gives every qualified graduate in the district the opportunity to go to college.

Sam Vogel, president of Kiwanis, was joined by Scott Lindsey, president-elect, and Nancy Whetstone, chairperson of the college fair, at the meeting.

Whetstone addressed the board, and thanked them for the recognition. More than 3,000 students from central Ohio are expected to attend the college fair, according to Whetstone. Representatives from more than 150 institutions from more than 20 states will also attend.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 7, at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial.

Board member W. Shawna Gibbs asked board members to consider revising the working calendar to add a presentation on the I Know I Can program, to take place Nov. 18. Board members agreed.

In other board business, board members held a special public meeting for non-action items after the regularly scheduled meeting took place. Two district parents addressed the board on issues.

Kathy Williams, parent to Columbus Alternative High School junior Christopher Bradley, expressed concerns about not having an advisor for the school’s robotics team. According to Williams, after the former advisor, Osatohanmw Osemwengie, moved to another school, administration, staff and parents have met to consider options for another advisor. Two qualified teachers were asked to take the position, but declined, according to Williams.

“I’m here to ask what we can do as parents to assist in fulfilling the position,” she said, adding that the school’s extracurricular activities open house is quickly approaching as is the robotics team’s competition season.

According to Superintendent Gene Harris, who attended a meeting on the search of an advisor, the district is planning on compiling an “all-star” team of qualified volunteers who will coach the robotics team.

“We’re not going to let the robotics club get away from us,” she said. “There are lots of students interested in it.”

The main problem, Harris said, is finding someone with “content-specific ability,” as not just anyone can run the program.

Williams also pointed out her concern over internship credit if an advisor is not found soon.

Harris explained to board members that there are 144 hours of internship CAHS must complete for a credit for graduation.

“Although there are many ways to get internship credit, the most desired is to have the students work out in the industry,” Harris said.

Bradley has participated in the program for two years now.

“If they come up with the ‘all-star’ team, I will still be in the club,” said Bradley, who wants to go into engineering after school.

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