Several new advanced placement courses and a student-led principal advisory committee are set to be rolled out when class resumes Wednesday, Aug. 29 at Wellington High School.
Principal Tina Drake, now in her fourth year at the WHS helm, is also introducing pre-AP courses for freshmen. They will cover English, math, world history, and biology.
“I went to the AP conference last summer and the College Board announced the pre-AP program that they wanted to pilot,” she said. “They seem to be looking closely at rural districts that are just getting their AP courses started up. Pre-AP is basically getting students to see and realize they could be successful in an AP course. The kids will be assessed throughout the year after each unit. That’s why our freshmen will take the PSAT in the fall and again in the spring to assess growth.”
AP and pre-AP courses are administered to schools through the College Board, a nonprofit formed in 1899 to expand access to higher education.
Wellington was one of 104 school districts approved for pre-AP curriculum this year out of more than 1,000 that applied, Drake said.
Plans call for pre-AP to be made available for sophomores starting with the 2019-2020 school year and for all grades during the following year.
Orientation for freshmen and new students will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at the WHS cafeteria followed by an open house from 7-8 p.m.
Exact dates for standardized testing are yet to be determined but will fall shortly after students return to class.
Grades nine through 11 as well as McCormick Middle School eighth-graders will take the PSAT in the fall followed by the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test in November.
Students will be able to retake final exams from fall courses in December.
April will see juniors take the SAT and all students take spring final exams.
Freshmen will get their second crack at the PSAT in May followed by AP testing for all eligible students.
College Now impACT, an eight-week ACT preparation program funded by the Ohio Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, will again be available for Wellington students.
A full financial literacy course will make its debut this year at WHS. It was formerly part of government curriculum.
“I think it’s very important that our kids get more than a quarter of financial literacy,” Drake said. “Now we’ll be able to offer it for a whole semester and our government teacher can just focus on government.”
The new class will deal with budgets, investments, stocks, and managing credit cards.
College and career day will be held Oct. 10, during which area professionals will speak to students about their respective careers and the various pathways to success that exist after graduation.
Monthly meetings will be held with a new principal advisory committee, which will be made up of an array of students.
“My plan is to have a student from each grade as well as from each group, club, and organization, including the JVS,” said the principal. “It’s very important to see what Wellington High School looks like through their eyes and to get suggestions and input from them. Maybe some things are happening that we’re not aware of.”
During the second semester, Drake also plans on holding two meetings with a parental advisory committee.
Drake taught math for 20 years leading up to being named WHS principal in 2015. She arrived in Wellington in 2002 after spending time at Elyria and Mansfield high schools.
“I’ve loved every bit of the transition to principal,” she said. “I’ve tutored a lot so the opportunities to help the kids out through teaching are still there. I like the fact that I’m in contact now with every single student every single day instead of just my class. I think we have a great staff here that works hard every day. I miss being a student council adviser, but I still get to use those skills in what I do now.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.