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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

High school here we come!

     Last week something happened that while we were expecting, but it still caught both John and I by surprise. It was time to register Courtney for high school! How could it be time for our baby girl to start high school? The realization that our girls are all growing up and will quickly be out of the house was smacking John and I in the face last week. It won't be another nearly 10 years before we will be doing high school registration for JT. Even that, I'm sure those years will fly by like they have for the girls.

Courtney brought home the registration book and several papers to fill out prior to registration. We had a good idea heading in what to expect since this is our 3rd go round.

     What we didn't expect was that our plan was going to be changed and for the better. Next year our school system is going to be starting a new program at each of the high schools to better prepare and challenge the students that would like to be in the program. For our high school they will have the STEM academy. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics with a special emphasis on the health care field. Students don't need to have an interest in a career in one of these areas to participate. 

     In a nutshell, the program is geared for honors and AP classes, but the method of teaching, learning, and working is going to be different that a traditional high school experience. Of the core subjects there will be 5 teachers- English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and the STEM focus that the students will have each of the four years of high school and those teachers will be working together to create integrated lessons with interesting,hands on,  real life application to teaching and work the students complete. It sounds like a fantastic program and Courtney was very excited to sign up for the program.

This is what her schedule of classes will look like next year. She will still have her elective classes like all high school students, she will just be in the STEM classes with other STEM peers.

Here is a proposal of what Courtney's 4 years at Beech High school might look like. This doesn't include the other electives after her freshman year and classes like PE and foreign language she will need to take. The program at BHS is being modeled after a nearby STEM academy that has had great success. If you would like to take a sneak peek at what Courtney might be doing next year, go visit Kenwood High STEM Acamedy. So far about 1/3 of Courtney's 8th grade class has signed up for the academy  a far greater response than expected. We are all very excited for this new opportunity for Courtney and what her high school years hold.

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