MILLEDGEVILLE — Baldwin High School students who are in need of an academic push or are ahead of their peers in the traditional classroom setting may be offered the option to learn at their own pace in an alternative environment next semester.
Communities In Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County (CISMBC) and school system partners hope to better serve those students in a Performance Learning Center (PLC), if funding becomes available.
“Students who maybe missed a chunk of time and need to catch up with their class, students who transfer in and need to catch up, students who feel uncomfortable in the regular high school population, or students who may be bored because they’re ahead in the regular classroom, all can receive extra support in a Performance Learning Center,” said Sandy Baxter, CISMBC executive director. “A PLC is not necessarily a place where students are not making good grades. The purpose of the PLC is to enable students to stay in school, excel in their academic studies and graduate with a marketable skill.”
A PLC incorporates individualized instruction, computer-based curriculum, a business-like learning environment, internships, post-graduation preparation and connections to colleges and careers.
Should CISMBC acquire funding, the PLC will be housed in Baldwin County College & Career Academy at the local high school.
“The high school already has an Encore program for credit recovery, but it doesn’t have a site coordinator or tutors. We’re going to work together with that program and enhance it to make it available for more students,” Baxter said. “Because the PLC will be embedded in the College & Career Academy, students can take advantage of the strong relationship we have with Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC). Our goal is to have students dual enrolled at CGTC once they are caught up. Once they are caught up, they can go back into the traditional classroom.”
Students can be involved in the PLC on a first-come-first-serve basis through a recommendation from the principal, counselor or parent.
“We will work with 60 students to begin with and hope to double that by next year, but that will cost more money,” Baxter said. “This isn’t for students that have been kicked out of school; this is for students who for one reason or another need to catch up. They may be ahead of their class or behind in their class.”
CIS of Georgia has available funds for the expansion of the PLC initiative through the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation. CISMBC is currently in the grant application process.
“The grant process collaborative effort is between [School Superintendent] Geneva Braziel, [Baldwin High Principal] Dr. Jessica Swain, [CTAE Director] Teresa Phillips and [CISMBC]. We wrote the first draft of the application, and I’m in the process of refining it. I plan to send it out next week, and hopefully we will find out next month if we will receive the grant,” Baxter said. “Should we get funded, this will be in full partnership with the Baldwin County school system. We hope to start the PLC when students come back to school in January. I think this is an excellent option because it gives our high school students another choice and another road to success.”
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