Credit Recovery program helps students meet graduation requirements 5.20.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

In years past, failing a high school course wasn’t the end of the world. There was always next year when the class could be repeated.

That’s not the case anymore, not with Michigan’s new graduation requirements.

Next year’s senior class is the last to finish up before the new rules take effect. After that there will be no such thing as “next year.” With four years of mathematics and English required, students won’t have a next year to take a class over again.

Summer school was also an option in many districts, said Morenci Area High School principal Nate Parker, but that’s changing, too.

Summer school typically meant an intensive two-week session, but those abbreviated classes are falling by the wayside, also.

The only way to get the job done now is to enroll in the district’s credit recovery program via on-line courses. Districts throughout the state are moving in the same direction to help students meet the new requirements and earn a diploma.

Although several companies offer on-line courses approved by the state education department, Morenci administrators chose to go with the Arizona-based Education 2020 program.

By working through the Monroe-Lenawee ISD consortium, the district is saving a large sum of money. Each license costs $550 annually and Morenci has purchased 10 licenses. Any number of students are allowed to use the service, but only 10 at any one time are able to log in to a class.

For summer school use, students will meet with a school staff member only on the first and final day of the class. After that first day, students must work on their own until the final exam when a monitoring teacher is present.

If a student doesn’t have an internet connection at home, work will have to be done at Stair Public Library or at a friend’s house.

The classes are much different than the two-week sessions, Parker said.

“Teachers have gone through the material and are impressed,” he said.

They’re convinced students will face a rigorous challenge just as they would in a regular classroom. Success with “homework” and tests will determine advancement through the material.

With each course, the anticipated completion time is given, although that will vary with each student and how much time is devoted to the class on a daily basis.

“Some kids who struggle in the classroom will succeed with the computer version,” Parker said, but it probably won’t be the answer for everyone.

Motivation and dedication are still needed and each student will have to provide that.

Parker sees uses for the Education 2020 program beyond credit recovery. He expects the program to be used extensively in the alternative education class. State requirements have changed there, too, and a teacher must be certified for each course offered, just like in a regular classroom.

It will also be used during the school year for a student who can’t fit an essential class into his or her schedule.

The courses can also be tailored to include only a portion of a class. If a student were doing well in geometry, but couldn’t understand a particular concept, extra help could come through Education 2020.

Students will pay a fee for credit recovery summer school, but the charge has not yet been determined. Students using the program during the regular school day—or those who choose to log in for some remedial help—will not pay.

Parker looks forward to putting the program to use. Now, he says, summer school is really going to mean something.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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