CLAYTON — Members of the Mill Creek Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees got a crash course in college preparation during recent tours of both Cascade High School and Cascade Middle School.
The board was given a hands-on tour of how the schools are working together to get students ready for what comes after high school. Explaining the changes in curriculum and classes were Cathy Tooley, principal of CHS, and Eric Sieferman, principal of CMS.
Superintendent Pat Spray said he wanted the board to experience how the schools are building a “college culture” for the students.
“We want students to know what they will be doing when they walk off that stage at graduation,” Tooley said. “It all starts at the middle school. We want to produce kids that are going to be competitive with other students.”
One way students are being prepared in middle school is by offering more high school credit classes.
“We had students who were bored in the traditional classrooms,” Sieferman said. “They could get As and Bs with minimal effort.”
The middle school now offers more high school credit algebra and geography courses.
“This was the first year we offered biology in the eighth grade,” he said. “We had 23 take the course and 100 percent passed.”
This school year was also the first time foreign language was offered to eighth-graders. French 1-2 and Spanish 1-2 were offered at PCMS.
Other first-year courses included physical education, and 2D art. Next fall, CMS will add introduction to business to the list of high school credit courses it offers.
The PACE (current event and civics and citizenship) is also a high school credit course offered at CMS. This was the second year this course was offered.
Board members visited the eighth-grade class to see what type of projects the students complete. In recent weeks, the PACE class has been studying the election of 1860. The students are working together in groups to create a “mini-campaign committee.”