The main topic of discussion during the Tuesday April 14 Salida School Board meeting was the agreement for joint Salida High School and Colorado Mountain College programming. This agreement would allow Salida High School students to earn college credit while still attending high school. In the future, it would even allow them to earn an associate degree before high school graduation; a goal they hope to achieve within three to five years.
These classes will be offered during the normal school day. Students will receive both high school and college credit.
The board also discussed a Friday Career Academy, which is geared more toward exploration. Students would meet for a few hours on Fridays, the off-day of the regular four-day school schedule. The college level courses will be weighted to highlight the work and effort that goes into taking this class.
Since these are very hands on classes, the board says it hopes that the new classes will provide a different flavor in the student’s schedule. A total of 72 course hours are being offered.
This program allows students to not only figure out what they want as a career path, but also what they don’t want to. Students who want to explore potential career options, such as health skills and sustainable studies, can take classes to see if it is something they want to pursue further. There are also internship options available.
According to the district, many teachers have shown interest in teaching various subjects including, but not limited to business, college algebra and statistics, environmental science, and literature. This is without taking away any current Advanced Placement (AP) classes; it will provide more options for students.
Just six weeks ago the School Board was digging into details on how to achieve this and now is already applying the finishing details. The team has started to navigate hurdles such as which staff will teach what subjects. They hope to launch a large concurrent involvement in the next few weeks.
“It’s an incredible start to where we’re going” said Superintendent David Blackburn.
The board announced that its next stage will be educating the public on these programs and adapting to this process amidst the coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19.