Cairo High School to host open house Monday night

Cairo High School will host its second semester open house next week and not only are parents of high school students invited, but also parents of current eighth graders.
CHS Principal Chris Lokey has invited parents of eighth graders to attend to learn about the new ninth grade academy being formed at the high school next school term.
Parents and guardians are asked to meet in the CHS auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30, for a quick meeting and to pick up student schedules and then parents will be dismissed to follow their student’s schedule and meet their second semester teachers.
Parents will receive a class syllabus and a brief description of the class and expectations for the second semester.
After parents of students in grades 9-12 are dismissed, the presentation on the new ninth grade academy will begin.
A ninth grade academy is not a new concept, and according to Lokey, has been in consideration at CHS since 2013.
The faculty voted, with 97 percent in favor, to move forward with the establishment of the academy this fall.
For the last year-and-a-half, the steering committee, organized by Lokey and chaired by CHS economics teacher Del Bibles, has met weekly to discuss curriculum, instruction, potential roadblocks, logistics, scheduling and academy structure.
Principal Lokey said the second wing of the high school would be set up as the home of the new academy with some science labs on the first wing being utilized as part of the academy.
Ninth graders would have their own lunch period, but would interact with older students in elective courses and extra curricular classes. Lokey said that students taking AP courses would also be involved in classes with older students.
School officials had hoped to implement the new ninth grade academy concept this school year, but postponed it one year for additional study, according to Lokey.
The CHS principal also said only true ninth graders would attend the academy and students repeating the ninth grade would not be academy students.
According to the CHS principal, common themes that supported the local need for the academy include:
A high number of failure and discipline incidences that occur at the ninth grade level.
A need to decrease the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate.
A need for a structured plan in choosing a college or career pathway beginning in the ninth grade year through small group counseling sessions.
Implementation of Syrupmaker 101, a class where ninth grade students are taught the importance of high school credits and remaining on track for graduation, study skills, school rules and procedures, and the expectation of all Syrupmakers.
Smaller learning environments to create and foster relationships between ninth grade teachers and ninth grade students.
Focus on promotion rate from ninth to 10th grade just as the school does for seniors to graduation.
“We would encourage all parents to come learn more on Jan. 30,” Lokey said.

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