Dual enrollment, vocational education popular at OCS

ONEKAMA — Giving high school students every possible opportunity for dual enrollment and vocational educational opportunities is vital for all school districts.Onekama schools

At Onekama Consolidated Schools officials are taking steps to provide those opportunities in a variety of areas. School counselor Scott McKenney provided the board of education with a report Monday evening on what they have available in the district.

“According to the Michigan School code, students in grades 9-12 are eligible to enroll in college level courses while still attending high school,” reported McKenney. “Onekama Consolidated Schools in conjunction with West Shore Community College or the Manistee Sattelite Campus at (Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital) offered 16 different courses to 25 of our students in the fall.”

McKenney said the most popular courses were English Composition I and Introduction to Sociology where 10 students were taking part in each class. The next popular classes with six students was Introduction to Business and American Government with five students.

During the spring semester, 24 Onekama students took 15 different courses. The most popular with 13 students was Introduction to Psychology, while English Composition II had nine students.

Besides WSCC, Onekama students also have the opportunity to take dual enrollment courses from Baker College.

In the fall they offered Composition I (eight students) and World Geography (seven students). During the spring, Composition II (nine students) and World Geography (seven students) were offered.

“Each year Onekama Consolidated Schools works in conjunction with the West Shore ESD and West Shore Community College to provide students with the opportunity to further their educations in the vocational fields of study,” said McKenney.

The Tech Prep program has 24 students taking nine classes. The most popular are Allied Health, Culinary Arts and Mechatronics/Pre-Engineering. Twelve students also took part in 12 different online classes through WSCC.

McKenney also highlighted some of the Launch Manistee programs the Onekama students took part in during the year.

“We had 30 seniors who completed over 72 applications to two and four-year colleges and universities,” said McKenney. “Every senior has been accepted to at least one college and university.”

McKenney also updated the board on FAFSA financial information night.

“We had 18 parents and four seniors attend a presentation by a financial aid representative from WSCC,” said McKenney.

Board members were also updated on what the Onekama Schools does with Northwestern Evaluation Association (NWEA) testing for every grade level except kindergarten.

“They are tested in September, January and April in mathematics, English Language Arts and some of them in science,” said McKenney. “All testing is done electronically with students in grades one and two using iPads while the rest use Mac Airs.”

In other action from the meeting, board members cast ballots for the two open seats on the Manistee Intermediate School Board election. They selected candidates Lynda O’Shea and Doug Parkes unanimously for those positions.

Board members also gave approval to the issuance of bonds following the recent success at the polls for the sinking fund and zero mill increase for projects in the district. Along the same lines, the board approved members Sam Cantanese and Mike Acton to be part of the building committee for the projects on campus.

The board also is looking at revising the scholarship application for the two scholarships they give away at graduation every year. They are looking at changing some of the criteria.

A report was given on where the building projects stand now that the zero mill and sinking funds were approved.

“We already have a construction manager in Wolgast Construction, and we are negotiating our contract with them,” said superintendent Kevin Hughes. “We will probably be doing some request for proposals for architectural work real soon.”

Board members continued move forward with the superintendent’s evaluation goals. They hope to finalize those goals at the June meeting.

A closed session was also held for negotiation discussions.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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