Imagine a reasonably bright Lincoln County High School student graduating from any one of the county’s four high schools and transferring into college as a third year college student. A junior. Only two years LEFT to go to get that coveted college or university degree – and at nowhere near the cost of doing it the regular way.
Yes, it’s hard but it IS DO-ABLE!
The Lincoln County School Board and their Superintendent of Schools Steve Boynton and staff have embarked on a mission to not only improve Lincoln County School test scores but to ensure that every high school student takes at least one advanced placement (AP) course that comes with two magical words attached – DUAL CREDIT.
Many school districts around Oregon and around the country are trying to accelerate the academic progress of students so they get a big head start on the rest of their lives. And at far lower cost. And we can count the Lincoln County School District “in” on the deal.
Superintendent Boynton and some of his staff, with School Board Chair Liz Martin by his side, gave the news media a brief glimpse this week of what they’ve been up to. Boynton says it comes down to relationships between K-12 school districts, local community colleges and statewide colleges and universities.
Boynton and his Director of Secondary Education Eric Glendenin told reporters that the district is offering high school students exposure to more challenging college level classes right here on the coast. Advanced Placement and Dual Credit classes are becoming more and more available to Lincoln County students regardless of what high school they attend. Students are strongly urged to take at least one Advanced Placement course just to see how it feels and works out for them. Whether it’s biology, advanced robotics, environmental science, calculus, art studio, math or Spanish or something else, the courses will be available in the district, taught in one of the high schools or at Oregon Coast Community College. There is also distance learning courses from Oregon Institute of Technology . And the school district will ensure you make it to class.
At Newport High, dual credit courses (you get college credit) include writing, math and psychology, commercial art and more. At Waldport there are Dual Credit courses in biology, writing, and math. Again they count as college courses. At Toledo High dual credit courses include biology, writing, education, math and psychology. At Taft dual credit involves math, writing, culinary arts, child psychology.
In addition there are Advanced Placement courses: history, biology and english at Newport, language, literature and environmental science, 20th Century U.S. History and soon, art studio at Waldport. At Toledo Advanced Placement courses like language and composition and physics. Also at Toledo VEX Robotics, Micro-processing and Introduction to Remotely Operated Vehicles (think Mars lander!). Up the coast at Taft High Advanced Placement classes include human geography, literature and composition and physics.
All this is paid for out of school budgets and with assistance from local community colleges. Some high schools are more closely tied to outside community colleges – some very far away like Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. But with computer monitors and direct links to the classrooms, it’s just like being there.
Total cost of the programs runs a quarter million a year to the school district ( little or no cost to students), but for the coming year it’ll be reduced quite a bit due to extra assistance from OIT.
Boynton and Glendenin say this aggressive re-direction in the “learning curve” will only intensify as Oregon’s Education Department ramps up and perfects these offerings and works with the state legislature on increased funding which will pay huge educational and career dividends for Oregon students. They say it’s well traveled educational terrain at schools in the Upper Midwest and New England all aimed at giving our kids the best higher educational boost for the buck we can give them.