PCHS Principal Tom Sanders Offers Alternative Path To High School Diploma For At Risk Kids

Marlinton, WV – Tom Sanders, Principal at Pocahontas County High School, told the Pocahontas Board of Education about a new proposal to help at risk kids attain a high school diploma – Sanders explains.

“It is something new that the state is trying in high schools to help bring the dropout rate down and to allow more students to either obtain a GED or a Regular High School Diploma” he says.

Sanders says that Option 1 is for any high school student that has failed major core courses.

“A student can receive a high school diploma by completing the GED test and also completing four courses in a concentration; a Vocational concentration” says Sanders. “They have to also take the Course Completers test, and they have to meet the standards on the Work Keys; the ACT work keys.”

Sanders explains that Option 2 is for a senior who has failed a major core course and is in jeopardy of not meeting graduation requirements.

“If for some reason you have a high school senior who failed a major course such as say, they failed the math course” he says. “Then they only have to take the GED in the math area. They wouldn’t have to take all four or five areas of the GED. Then if they did that, they would be able to receive a regular high school diploma.”

Board Member Janet McNeel asked Sanders what was the biggest cause of students falling into the at risk category. Sanders says many of them come from unconventional or unsettled family situations.

“When I look at ours, I had 3 that had children at some time during their years at the high school” he says, “none of them were from a complete family of a father and mother. Two of them were being raised by grandparents and they lose control. That’s the biggest thing right there is they lose love and discipline and they start taking on responsibilities of adult life; that’s our biggest things that I see.”

Sanders says that he will write a formal proposal for adoption of the program for the Boards’ next meeting.

In other actions, the Board approved the abolishment of 34 polices that are obsolete or no longer required.

The Board also approved the following for the 2011-2012 School Year:

Employment of Anne Smith as Athletic Director at Green Bank Elementary Middle School

Employment of Sharla Sherman as Teacher 3rd grade support at Hillsboro Elementary School

Transfer of Shannon Anderson from Half-time teacher at Hillsboro to Itinerant teacher of Special Education/Autism at Marlinton Middle School

Summer term Employments:

Employment of credit recovery teachers – Kristy Sisler at Green Bank, Cynthia Shreve at Marlinton Middle School, Michael Knisely and Christopher Sutton at PCHS

Gary Beverage and Nancy Martin as technology repair supervisors for Pocahontas County Schools

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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