Traverse City Record-Eagle

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February 23, 2014

Trustees will hear about early college

TRAVERSE CITY — High school students in Traverse City Area Public Schools soon may be able to graduate with more than a high school diploma.

The district is considering offering an early college program that would allow students to complete enough credits to simultaneously earn an associate’s degree by the time they finish high school.

School board President Kelly Hall said the program would allow high school seniors -- and possibly juniors -- to enroll in college courses. She said it is possible that the district would put interested students on a five-year high school plan. That would make it possible for them to walk across the stage on graduation day with both diploma and degree in hand.

“Kids will graduate when they’re 19 years old, and they’ll have both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree,” Hall said.

Superintendent Stephen Cousins will give board members an update on the early college program’s progress at a meeting Monday at 6 p.m.

“We’ve been talking about it for a couple of years, but I think we’re on the cusp of getting it implemented,” Hall said.

Board members also will hear an update on piloted special education programs throughout the district.

The programs started when parents and faculty came to the school district with concerns that needs of students in special education were not being met, said Jame McCall, executive director of special education and early childhood programs.

Trustees also will vote on an agreement between the district and the Traverse City Clerical, Assistants, Paraprofessionals and Secretaries Association – TC CAPSA – that would include an annual one-percent salary increase and a yearly step increase on the district’s salary schedule for the roughly 300 administrative assistants, aides and paraprofessionals who work for the district.

The agreement also outlines an equal split between the district and union members on future health insurance premium increases of up to 20 percent.

TC CAPSA members ratified the agreement during a membership meeting on Feb.19.

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