EH prepares new classes to meet future needs of students

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Adam Barton, Eastern Hancock Principal

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Officials with the Community School Corp. of Eastern Hancock often say there are many perks that come with being part of a smaller district. One of the benefits administrators note is having a smaller number of students, which allows educators to meet one-on-one with each high schooler to find out what the student is truly interested in learning.

The administrative staff is in the process of putting together a handful of new classes based on student needs starting as soon as next year. The goal is to make sure senior students are better prepared for college or the workforce after they graduate high school.

Eastern Hancock middle and high school principal Adam Barton said they’re always looking to offer the kinds of classes that get students excited about coming to school and get educators excited about teaching.

“We’re looking into new classes for a couple of reasons,” Barton said. “One reason, we’re looking for things our teachers are interested in and licensed in and want to teach then, also, we want to offer classes by student request and student need.”

Starting next fall, the district will offer high school students four new learning opportunities to better prepare them for real careers, giving them a head start through the new classes. The new classes will be in community service, computer science programming, veterinary science and a class for future educators.

“The community service class will provide a chance for our students to serve their community while building their resumes,” superintendent George Philhower said.

District officials say students can find a growing number of additional opportunities through partnerships outside of Eastern Hancock with other schools and business in Hancock County, and the community service class will offer that.

“We want to provide more hands-on activities for kids, authentic learning experiences,” Philhower said.

The computer science program class will be open to EH students as well as other Hancock County school students, officials said. The veterinary science class will be an expansion of the current EH Ag program.

The class for future educators will be offered through a new partnership with Indiana University East and will allow students to take real IUE classes and receive a transcript from Indiana University for their hard work toward becoming a teacher.

“We’re really excited about some of the certifications we’re going to be able to get for our students,” Barton said.

The new computer science programming class will also incorporate marketing and business as the district moves toward creating an online store run by students who will be selling EH Royal merchandise. District officials say the class will work with the district’s athletic department and hopefully build corporate sponsorships for athletic and other school programs.

“Things like this we hope will get the kids excited about coming to school because they’re going to really get to learn about real-life business,” Barton said. “We’re even thinking the kids can work with inventory, working through our concessions stands and more.”

District officials are in the process of talking with and signing students up now and by spring, if the interested numbers are solid, they’ll be able to offer all four of the new proposed classes.

“One of our biggest goals is to find out what kids want to do when they leave high school, work with our community partners to find out the needs that are here and work as best as we can to put those two puzzle pieces together,” Philhower said.

Administrators noted all vocational-type classes generate revenue and are nearly all dual-credit opportunities for students.