A decision was finally made regarding dual enrollment courses and GPA credit, and some students and parents will not be pleased.
ORRHS Principal Michael Devoll acknowledged on March 12 the push from some parents in the community to allow dual enrollment to impact the students’ GPAs; however, it was determined that dual enrollment is not the same thing as taking an Advanced Placement class, and therefore should not be given the same weight.
Part of this decision comes from the fact that AP classes require 120 hours of class time, while dual enrollment college courses require 40 hours and are 15 weeks long.
“We’re not trying to discourage anyone from taking dual enrollment courses,” stated Devoll, despite the decision.
Also during the meeting, Superintendent Doug White discussed school choice in the budget, to which he proposed that school choice be in its own separate account, with whatever remainder left over then used to offset accounts.
By changing how school choice is included in the budget by eliminating it from the appropriation, the FY15 budget was reduced from $17,060,868 to $16,567,868. A motion was made to approve this amount, and the committee approved the FY15 budget.
“It’s been a busy month,” said White.
He continued by naming the various events he has attended recently, including the Oxfam banquet on world hunger coordinated by the junior high school, the early childhood fair held at the high school, and both an ice hockey and a basketball game.
“The rest of my time has been spent on getting the budget to a place where it can be approved,” said White.
Food Service Director Caitlin Meagher gave the committee a quick report on the lunch program. “[This has been] the year for freezer repairs. That was a really big job,” stated Meagher. Chairperson James O’Brien asked if the restrictions on lunch food options make it difficult to be creative with the menu, to which Meagher replied that it is a challenge.
Around 45 percent of the students at ORR regularly buy school lunches.
White spoke about a proposal from the Southeastern Massachusetts Educational Collaborative to rent space in the high school for an autism program.
Devoll added that there are four empty classrooms at the high school, along with some empty office space, which SMEC representatives, after viewing the space, have expressed would suits their needs.
SMEC would only use the space during regular school hours, and the program would include high school students from the surrounding districts as well as the ORR District.
Students in the SMEC program would be able to collaborate and integrate into the high school, and it would not be entirely self-contained. A motion was made to accept the proposal to rent the space and passed.
Principal Devoll continued by saying that he is excited about the new GPA scale the committee approved last month. A 4.0 GPA scale will now be in effect with a bonus .5 for honors courses and a full point for AP courses.
The results of a school climate survey were given, with ratings from students, staff and parents. High rankings were given on questions such as the quality of the school’s learning environment and attitude towards independent thinking.
By Sarah Taylor