A Priest River High School senior who will graduate with nearly four semesters of college credit has organized a symposium at her school next Tuesday at 6, to help other students learn how to take advantage of Idaho’s Advanced Opportunities program, which includes several programs that offer state funding for high school students to take advanced or college-level courses.
Hannah Keinert will graduate with 41 dual credits, and has completed many of her college general education college courses in subjects like English, math and science. “She has a great story to tell and will be sharing at the dual credit night, specifically how she balances the college life as a high school student,” said Jeff Church, spokesman for Idaho state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra.
The student-organized symposium will include brief presentations from Marcy Hoggatt of North Idaho College; Brad Patzer from Idaho Digital Learning Academy; and the state Department of Education’s Advanced Opportunities regional coordinator, Stephanie Childress. The state coordinator of Advanced Opportunities, Tina Polishchuk, and Matt McCarter, the State Department of Education Director of Student Engagement, Career and Technical Readiness, also will be attend. Parents and students will be able to ask questions about how to take full advantage of the state’s Advanced Opportunities programs, which include the 8 in 6 program, the Fast Forward Program, the Early Completers Program and the Mastery Advancement Program.
8 in 6 provides funding for middle or high school students to take extra courses and advance through school more quickly; Fast Forward pays for dual credit courses for juniors and seniors; Early Completers provides state aid to help students who’ve completed all their graduation requirements take college or professional-technical courses or exams while still in high school; and Mastery Advancement provides college scholarships for students who graduate from high school at least a year early.
In fiscal year 2015, as the programs began growing, the state budgeted $640,600 for them; this year, the number jumped to $6 million because of strong interest from students. For next year, fiscal year 2017, Ybarra is again requesting $6 million.