New type of classroom at Greenwood High School begins this year

Students learn in a new type of classroom at Greenwood High School. (WISH Photo/Teresa Mackin)

GREENWOOD (WISH) – There is a new type of classroom this year for some Greenwood High School students.

Administrators started the “Connections” program at the high school after they said they saw the need to offer a more flexible schedule to some students. For example, some students may want to graduate early, others want to work at their own pace, are parenting or have an afternoon job.

“This is a program designed to give kids a different way of receiving instruction, both with licensed teachers and online,” said Bill Ronk, Greenwood High School Director of Guidance and Alternative Programs.

They turned an old shop classroom into an open-concept classroom for about 25 students in the program. The students must apply to the program.

“The administrative team set out to look at ways of meeting needs for students whose preferred way of receiving instruction wasn’t being met in the traditional classroom,” explained Ronk. “How could we do that while keeping kids here, connected to the building, connected to teachers, so they still have access to all our facilities, like all high school students do.”

Students attend class at the high school for the first half of the day. The students complete work online, but English, math and social studies teachers also come in to the classroom to work with them as well.

In the afternoon, most students go to a career center to work on vocational training for jobs after school in a variety of programs, including nursing, building trades, automotive, computers, law enforcement, firefighting, machine trades and more. Other students do work-study programs as well.

Haley Hawver, a senior, has been working to complete her CNA certification in the afternoons. She says she will graduate early, plans to go to college and has a full-time job lined up.

“It’s showed me how to be my own person, make my own decisions,” said Hawver.

Each student is able to work on their own computer in the classroom. Besides the computers, everything else in the classroom is donated.

Ronk says they’re hoping to show success to be able to do some renovations in the future.

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