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South Hadley offers college-level courses for high school students this year

  • South Hadley superintentent Nicholas Young sits in his office in South Hadley Town Hall.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • South Hadley superintentent  Nicholas Young sits in his office in South Hadley Town Hall.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • South Hadley Superintentent  Nicholas Young sits in his office in South Hadley Town Hall.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • South Hadley Superintentent Nicholas Young sits in his office in South Hadley Town Hall.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

Through the program, which was designed in partnership with American International College, high school juniors and seniors can take college-level classes and earn college credit.

“This is a huge thing for us,” Young said.

Courses will be taught at the high school by South Hadley faculty, but participating students will have access to resources at American International College in Springfield such as the library.

Students can earn up to 30 credits, meaning they can complete up to a year of studies before entering college. Young said the credits earned can be transferred to most institutions South Hadley High students attend after graduation.

“For the few schools that don’t take transfer credits, namely a place like Harvard, the college credits earned in high school would help make one of our graduates more competitive, making this program a win for everyone,” Young said.

Proposed courses for the program include Introduction to Journalism, Introduction to Public Speaking, English Composition, Survey of Economics, Algebra and Trigonometry, General Physics, Environmental Biology, Digital Photography, Introduction to American Politics, Information and Technology and Elementary Spanish.

Another addition this year is a new math remediation program, Young said. The program offers individual and small group tutoring for students from elementary through the middle school grades who need extra help.

There also will be a Second Chance program at the high school for students who have dropped out of school. Through this initiative, students have the opportunity to take online courses to make up the needed credits for graduation.

Also new is a Student Success Program, through which students who have struggled to earn necessary credits can receive small group instruction to catch up.

There are several new administrators on board. Matt Benoit is the dean of students at the high school. Paul Plummer is now the principal at Michael E. Middle School and Beth Craven is a dean of students there.

Kathleen Boyden takes over as director of student services for special education, and Pam Soderbaum will fill the new position of supervisor of student services.

Former Michael E. Smith Middle School Principal Erica Faginski-Stark will begin her new role as director of curriculum and grants manager for the district.

And to celebrate the first school year since the Select Board adopted the tiger as the town symbol, the school store at South Hadley High now has an online outlet for the sale of shirts and gear promoting tiger pride.

“We’re excited, we’re energized, we’re enthusiastic to open school,” Young said.

The online store can be visited at sites.google.com/site/shpsonlinestore.

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