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Wolf Creek BOE hears stipend request for teachers of dual-credit courses

WATERFORD — Waterford High School will expand its dual credit offerings by three new courses starting in the fall, Principal Suellen Coleman told the Wolf Creek Board of Education at its monthly meeting Monday night.

The board was asked to approve additional stipends for teachers delivering the eight dual credit courses currently being offered. Coleman said that starting in the 2019-20 school year, human anatomy and physiology, psychology 101 and introduction to ecology college-level courses will also become available for students.

Students can apply the dual credit classes toward college studies, potentially saving themselves significant time and cost in working toward a degree.

“There are savings in every one of those classes,” Superintendent Doug Baldwin said. “The students pay $43.50 a credit hour to take them in high school, compared to $140 when taking them on the Washington State Community College campus.”

Coleman said the high school is exploring other collaborative possibilities with the community college, including robotics and welding.

“They seem to have a bit of a different philosophy at Washington State Community College now,” Baldwin said. “They’re looking at more of a career focus and really wanting to work with us. It’s kind of exciting to see what’s going to happen in the next couple of years.”

Coleman said since Dr. Vicky Wood took the presidency, the course offerings at the college have been organized into academies, with core subjects and specialties.

“We’re pretty close to having the health core here,” Coleman said. “Students could leave here ready to go directly into specialties.”

Coleman also noted that the dual credit courses are transferable to other colleges and universities.

“We want anything they take to be very meaningful,” she said.

Course offered this year were college level maths, statistics, business management, honor English composition, medical terminology, beginning, intermediate and advanced Spanish, public speaking, and anatomy and physiology. Dual enrollment course stipends for the eight teachers came to $9,500.

After the meeting, Coleman said the course offerings are determined by surveying the interests of students and teachers.

“We look at the staff, what we’re certified in, and the students complete a career interest inventory,” she said. “The biggest interest has been in health. We’ve got at least 100 students taking dual credit, a pretty hefty proportion.”

The senior class at Waterford is just over 60 students.

“It gives the kids a college experience in a safe place with a teacher they know,” Coleman said.

In other business, the board:

¯Approved policy revisions, including one regarding social media.

¯Resolved the annual adoption of a five-year plan, including general fund and bond fund levies.

¯Approved certified and noncertified positions, extended days for six teaching staff members, and a five-year contract for assistant treasurer Alisha Schaad.

¯Approved overnight trips, at no cost to the district, for the high school girls softball team and three FFA groups.

¯Received a report from the superintendent on negotiations to replace the bus radio system.

The board is scheduled to meet next at 7:30 p.m. May 14 in the library at Waterford High School.

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