Block party celebrates new Chesy, OU classes

Published 10:17 am Thursday, July 30, 2009

CHESAPEAKE — The carnival is coming to town. Or at least a makeshift one when Ohio University and Chesapeake High School pull out all the stops for a block party on Thursday, Aug. 13, to kick off a partnership geared to advancing the education of its students and the community.

Recently the village’s school district agreed to team up with OU on its College Achievement Program or CAP. Starting in the fall, qualifying students at Chesapeake can receive dual credit for certain classes as part of CAP.

In CAP there are three possible ways a Chesapeake student can get college credit.

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In venue one, if a Chesapeake teacher is qualified to teach a college class, any teen in that class who earns a grade of B or better will get college and high school credit. Those who don’t earn that grade level will receive only high school credit.

In venue two, if there is not a high school teacher with a master’s degree, the school can still offer college credit by partnering with an OU instructor in a co-teaching relationship.

In venue three, there will be college level evening classes at the high school where OU will provide instructors. Those courses will be open to high school students and qualifying members of the community.

“I just think to have a partnership with an institution of higher education is a tremendous asset,” Dr. Scott Howard, Chesapeake schools superintendent, said. “It provides a richness that you don’t have. It adds a new dimension to our community.”

The party will run from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 13 at the parking lot and football field at the high school. There will be concessions, inflatables, face painting, music, a Zumba demonstration and information booths about OU classes and Chesapeake schools.

“We want people to feel free to come in and go out,” Stephanie Burcham, director of OU Proctorville, said. “Everybody can get involved, have some fun, get some food. Our goal is to get them to learn about the partnership.”

This fall Chesapeake will be the only district in the county that will offer college courses for both its students and the community during evening classes. Those interested in those classes may qualify for OU’s Make Your Mark program, which significantly reduces tuition.

“There are so many barriers and fears about going to school,” Burcham said.

Through Make Your Mark, an adult student can sample college life without an excessive financial commitment.

On top of CAP the partnership will also offer non-credit adult education classes in a range of subjects from ballroom dancing to Zumba to computers.

“We are just so excited about the partnership,” Joe Rase, Chesapeake High principal, said. “We think it will take off. It will grow as time goes on and people get comfortable with it. We look for this to be an ongoing process, to have classes for years to come.”