Western H.S. proposes advanced classes to lower dropout rate

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WHAS11.com

Posted on March 8, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 8 at 6:37 PM

Their dropout rate is higher than the district average and those that do graduate from the school often times don't go to college but Western High School in Shively wants to change all that.

They plan to give students a chance to go to college while they are still in high school.

Cynthia Doyle and Brooke Seibert act out this scene in a drama class at Western High School.

But their biggest performance could be next year if they take on the role of college student.

“It will give us a good opportunity to show how smart we are,” said Seibert. “Everyone I know, they want to go to college they just don't always get the opportunity.”

Monday, school leaders from Western will go before the school board asking them to approve a proposal that could send more kids to college.

Their plan is to have students take between 20 and 30 college credits while in high school, all for free and paid for with grants.

Cynthia Doyle said, “I think it’s a great idea for them to bring it to this school.  We are Western, people don't really consider us a high elite school because we don't have a lot of funding and stuff but we are just as smart as all the other schools.”

Not many people in Cynthia's family have been to college.

The same thing goes for Brooke and the principal says it’s the same story for most of the students at Western.

82% of the students at Western are on free and reduced lunch, meaning many of their students come from low income families.

11% their population has English as a second language and their dropout rate is 7%, the district average is 6.2%.

If the plan is approved, Cynthia and Brooke hope it will change the public perception of Western as a school with low test scores to a school that sends kids to college.

Brooke said, “Its gonna be great.  We get college credit hours even before we get the chance to go college and you don't have a pay for it, it’s great.”

Part of the plan would call for the grant money to also pay for additional graduate courses for teachers so they could teach the college classes at Western.

The proposal will be discussed Monday night but the board will make a decision at a later date.

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