Frequently Asked Questions - COVID 19 Edition
1. My student is getting an "I" in their class, should they enroll in PACE Summer School instead?
- A lot of that depends on their current grade in that class. If there is any chance that your student can remediate that grade and get it to passing status, DO IT! We always tell our students, your best education will come from the classroom with the teacher's direct instruction. When at all possible, make every effort to pass your classroom based classes. If the student anticipates that there is no chance of passing that class, and the teacher of that class agrees there is no chance, your student can take a "W" for that class and immediately enroll in a Summer School PACE class for credit recovery. Talk to your guidance counselor for more details.
2. My student is behind on credits, can they enroll in PACE Summer School?
- That depends if they have failed a class before. PACE is currently only accepting students who have failed a class, and need to earn that credit back. We have exciting goals in the future to expance our program, but we currently can only accept students who have failed a course in the past for our Summer PACE enrollment.
3. Okay, my student has failed a course and needs to enroll in the PACE Summer Program, what do we do next?
- Email your guidance counselor to get started. They will verify all the qualifications necessary to enroll and give the you the specific details on enrolling for our program.
I hope this helps answer some questions and please feel free to reach out if you need any assistance at all!
Mr. Daniel W. Cox - firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is a great day!
OTHS has a brand new and very exciting program that we wanted to share with you. The PACE (Panther Academy for Careers and Education) is off to a great start here in room 402 at the Smiley Campus. Our task is to take our students that have struggled earning enough credits in the past to graduate with their class, and get them enrolled in an online curriculum that will help them learn the important concepts of a given subject at their own pace in a supportive environment. We are individualizing their education to help them achieve credit, while maintaining the rigors and standards we have come to expect here at OTHS.
We wanted to share some FAQ’s that we are getting asked about our new program…
- Why does OTHS need this program?
- We feel that it is important to identify our student population that is at risk of dropping out or falling behind and support them on a more individual basis to achieve success. This step is intended to catch students before they fall through any cracks in the education system and let them know that we support them and are here to help given their specific needs. Students are identified by our guidance department as being qualified to be enrolled in the PACE program.
- What type of classes can they take?
- There are 40+ classes they can take, but most commonly we are seeing a need in the areas of Social Studies, English, and Math.
- Are the classes easy?
- No! They follow the same strict curriculum standards that all our other classes here at OTHS follow. They are just in an online format and are paced out in a way that will help students successfully complete them as they find time here at school and at home. In some cases, a student will spend more time on these classes than they would in the classroom setting.
- Why do we believe a student will be more successful in PACE than they would in a normal classroom?
- Great Question! Most of the time we see that students need individual attention that can't always be maintained in a regular classroom like some of our students require. We keep our roster small enough in PACE that the individual attention can be given to each student as needed and we can see their strengths and help them achieve at a higher level.
- What is stopping students from using this program to get ahead on credits and graduate early?
- We only identify students who are behind on credits for their graduating class. Students who would be using this program to get ahead would not be allowed to enroll in this program.
- Is this a study hall? Can I send work down from my class a student didn’t complete to finish in the PACE class?
- While I would love to say yes, we simply do not have time to treat this as a study hall. Students courses are paced in a way that they have certain objectives to meet daily. If they do not meet those objectives for the day, that then puts them behind on their course in this class.
- Will PACE classes have material that overlaps with other classes here at OTHS?
- Possibly. Some of our English classes taught here on campus could cover the same materials or literature that our PACE courses cover as well. If that is the case, and we learn about this, we can work with you the teacher and modify our PACE curriculum in a way that will suit everyone involved. Please understand this is a new program, and we are learning new things about this every day, so we appreciate your willingness to work with us to make this successful. We can even print out the scope and sequence of the classes our students are enrolled in to show you the curriculum they are working so hard to master.
- Will students learn to use PACE as a crutch?
- There are certain limitations to being in a PACE course. Such as it is pass/fail. Meaning that it does not count toward their overall GPA and therefore can not be used to boost GPA. It is strictly to recover credits in a particular subject field. PACE is not used toward eligibility so you will not see a grade in SKYWARD for it. For the students guidance identifies for this program, this is potentially a last resort for them, not a crutch.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions comments or concerns about the PACE program. We are all working very hard to make this a successful endeavor for our students, school, community and with your help, we believe that can happen. Thank you for the support of our new program here at OTHS. We really want to put the focus on our students and making sure that they all have the opportunities to be successful, and we believe PACE is one of many programs here at OTHS that puts the studnets first.
Mr. Cox is the lead instructor and coordinator for our PACE program. He has been at OTHS since 2011 and specializes in individualizing the education of our students who need it most.