Capstone Project part of alternate pathway for graduation

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — As students begin the third quarter of the 2017-18 school year, members of the Sidney High School senior class are preparing for graduation and making sure they have completed one of the pathways required for graduation.

Principal Doug Zimmer told the Sidney City Schools Board of Education that there are two additional pathways to graduation which were added with the adoption of the state of Ohio’s annual budget in July 2017. Students have five possible pathways for meeting graduation requirements.

For a student to participate in one of the two new alternative pathways, the students must retake any ELA (English/Language Arts) or math test in which he/she earned a performance level or 1 or 2 on their initial attempt at least once.

One of the new alternate pathways for graduation includes a requirement that the senior student completes a Senior Capstone Project, which is a unique project designed by the students.

“The project has to be completed by May 3, 2018,” said Zimmer. “They also have two complete two of the three items listed, which includes making a resume, an oral interview or participate in the Career Fair.”

The resume must be at least one page in length and be presentable to interviewees at the oral interview or the career fair. If the student chooses not to participate in the job fair, they must be interviewed by a panel chosen by SCS and be held before April 30.

The career job fair will be held May 3, said Zimmer.

In addition to completing the Capstone Project, a student must achieve one other item from the existing list, which includes attendance rate during senior year of at least 93 percent; 2.5 GPA for senior year courses; complete 120 hours work experience; earn three or more college credit plus credits; successfully complete an international baccalaureate or advanced placement course; earn a minimum level 3 score on each of the reading for information, applied mathematics and locating information components of the WorkKeys exam; or earn state board of education approved, industry recognized credential or group of credentials equal to or greater than 3 points.

The other pathways to graduate include: Ohio State Testing Pathway; College and Career Readiness Tests Pathway; Industry Credential and Workforce Readiness Pathway; and Alternate Pathway for Graduation for Career Education Students.

Clayton Westerbeck, Sidney Alternative School principal, and Keven Stapleton, transition coordinator, told about the year so far at SAS. Eleven of the 56 students at the school are on the honor roll, said Westerbeck. There are eight students who could graduate but are short on point requirements. He said the Capstone Project could help them graduate.

Stapleton said he has nine students in his class. They have learned 40.5 credits so far this school year.

“Their social skills lead them to fights and getting off the track of earning credits for graduation,” said Stapleton. “They don’t play well with others. Eight of their nine class periods each day is with me.”

He said the students have to deal with juvenile court, their parents, the school, the probation officer, judge and case managers.

“They are making good strides at the school,” said Stapleton. “They are at school from 7:15 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. They have the best attendance in the school.”

In other business, the board:

• Accepted donations from Eric Barr and Kevin Boerger, $100 each for the Board/Administration Scholarship Fund; and Wilson Health, $500 for the Sidney Middle School “Project Purple” anti-drug initiative.

• Accepted the resignation due to retirement of Jodi Haerr, intervention specialist, effective May 31, 2018. She has been with SCS for 30 years.

• Accepted the resignation of Linda Hicks, cook, effective Jan. 26.

• Approved the eighth-grade students trip to Washington D.C. May 29 to June 3, 2018. Travel will be arranged by K&K Tours of Celina. Trip expenses will be paid by the students.

• Approved a trip for Spanish students to Costa Rica June 18-25, 2018. Travel will be arranged by Explorica. Trip expenses to be paid by the students.

• Approved the updated language for the board policy dealing with class rank. Valedictorian, salutatorian and Top Ten will be changed to summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude.

• Went into executive session to discuss employment of an employee of the district. No action was taken.

The board’s next meeting will be Feb. 20 at 6 p.m.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.