UCPS offers evening classes for high school students

Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:56 AM

Union County Public Schools will begin an evening opportunity program for students in September.

The night school will run from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, at Central Academy for Technology and Performing Arts. 

Director of Secondary Education Wanda Little said the program helps to make sure educational opportunities expand to meet new challenges facing students. 

According to a presentation, students who would qualify for the program have vocational or job responsibilities the school day, students involved with internship or apprentice programs, students who are pregnant or parenting, students who would like to either catch-up or get ahead in classwork or students with fewer that four credits to graduate. The presentation said they would consider beginning with juniors and seniors. 

The program would be accelerated and offered to registered students. Little said the program was not to “beat the system” but to offer opportunities for students. The program is not designed to allow students to avoid the measures of student learning exams and courses requiring end of course (EOC) testing could not be taken through the program without approval. 

Little said it is not a program for every kid, but it is a program for a lot of kids. 

Superintendent Mary Ellis called it an “innovative” program and said they hope to reach 100 kids this year. 

The program would be funded using critical needs funding, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Programs John Jones said. He said it is not new money, it is money they have historically received. He added that they can run the program for a “reasonable” amount of money.

Students will have to apply to participate in the evening opportunity program. Their applications will be reviewed and approved by a committee. 

The evening program will combine virtual and blended learning with an instructor. Exceptional Children students will be supported by an Exceptional Children teacher.

Courses will meet the required 135 credit hours with test scores tied to the student’s home school, where students will also register for classes. The classes will adhere to the system’s policies and students will receive the same instruction or its equivalent.

The board voted unanimously to approve the program to begin in September. 

“Thank you very much, this will keep a lot of kids in school,” Vice Chair Marce Savage said after its approval. She added that it is a “wonderful program.”