Tuesday, September 02, 2014

COBBS: Preparing again for OHS enrollment

By RYAN COBBS, Ottawa High School | 1/27/2014

It’s that time again for Ottawa High School to start gearing up enrollment for the next school year. The counselors have begun their work in updating the enrollment booklet so all of our students will have the information needed to sign up for the appropriate classes. We also have been working with Ottawa Middle School to ensure the transition from OMS to OHS is as smooth as possible. Our goal is to try to have our students’ schedules developed and delivered to them before the dismissal of school this year, which has not been possible for a number of years.

• Transition work: We have been working with OMS to develop a more substantial transition program between schools. We know this is a major component to the success of our students as they progress toward graduation and Temie Lehman, our freshman counselor, has been working tirelessly to develop a program that will further promote the success of our transitioning students.

It’s that time again for Ottawa High School to start gearing up enrollment for the next school year. The counselors have begun their work in updating the enrollment booklet so all of our students will have the information needed to sign up for the appropriate classes. We also have been working with Ottawa Middle School to ensure the transition from OMS to OHS is as smooth as possible. Our goal is to try to have our students’ schedules developed and delivered to them before the dismissal of school this year, which has not been possible for a number of years.

• Transition work: We have been working with OMS to develop a more substantial transition program between schools. We know this is a major component to the success of our students as they progress toward graduation and Temie Lehman, our freshman counselor, has been working tirelessly to develop a program that will further promote the success of our transitioning students.

One major component of this program was to begin this Monday. We have split the eighth-graders into three groups, which will then spend three hours in our building this week maneuvering between 11 of our career and technical education options. These students will have the opportunity to actually participate in these classes so that they can have a better understanding of our elective courses and what they entail.

Secondly, Lehman has set up an activity fair later this spring at OMS, so the eighth-graders can be introduced to the different clubs, activities and athletic programs offered at the high school. This program will involve the sponsors and students participating in the programs, so our eighth-graders can ask questions and receive information first hand.

• OHS enrollment: Our high school counselors have continued to work with the Kansas Career Pipeline to develop four-year plans of study for each of our students. This is to help form an understanding of what is available, as well as what classes our students need to reach their goals upon graduation. Furthermore, our counselors plan to visit the classrooms of our freshmen, sophomores and juniors to help everyone understand the enrollment process, what is required of each of those groups to enroll, and exactly how to fill out the enrollment document to provide the best possibility they get the courses they have chosen. For our students to progress through this process, the enrollment form will have to be signed by parents and returned to school.

• New programs: OHS plans to add some new programs — one of which will continue with our partnership with Neosho County Community College, as we add a Building Trades program through Senate Bill 155. This plan will hinge upon Neosho developing a program, providing the instructor and determining a place to provide instruction. We now offer similar programs in welding at Anderson County and certified nursing aide at the Neosho campus. A second program will continue in the career and technical education realm as we look to add a program for law enforcement. Candie Campbell will be the instructor for this program as we offer the introductory course next year, the technical course the following year and the application course in the third year.

We have done a great deal of work to try and streamline the process for enrollment, help with transition of our students coming from the eighth grade and offer courses our students want while providing career and technical training, required foundational learning, and also the opportunity for our students to enroll in highly advanced courses that will push their learning to new levels. We are excited for this process, as it is the beginning of another graduation celebration for our seniors and the introduction of yet another group of students into Ottawa High School as next year’s freshman class.

Dr. Ryan Cobbs is principal at Ottawa High School. Email him at cobbsr@usd290.org or call (785) 229-8020.

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