2017-11-02 / Front Page

Educationally diversified programs drive school system advancements

Lincoln County schools are con­tinuously advancing to meet the future needs of their students, and in an effort to keep the commu­nity informed about the goings-on within the system, Superintendent Dr. Samuel Light has reported that these advancements are coming in many forms to accommodate all students.

From the high school’s dual en­rollment program and the Career, Technical, and Agricultural Edu­cation program, to new endeavors on the horizon that include the Na­tional Integrated Cyber Education Research Center, there’s a wealth of diverse educational tools coming down the pike in Lincolnton.

“As the superintendent of schools, I frequently get asked how our edu­cation system is doing. How are our students being prepared for their future? As I begin to explain some of the exceptional additions at our schools, individuals are shocked because they have not heard any of this information,” Light said. “I am extremely proud of our students and teachers for their hard work and success. I wanted to share a few recent successes, but please keep in mind, everyday our students are learning and working towards their positive future.”

East Georgia State College has partnered with LCHS for the “Move on When Ready” dual enrollment program, and several strides have been made over the last year with it. As college accredited courses for English I and II, Math I and II, and psychology are already established, Light explained that incorporating a biology course is in the works to further advance the program.

“This partnership created a dual enrollment opportunity that may grow into an East Georgia satellite campus in Lincoln County. As this opportunity expands, students will be able to receive an associate’s degree from East Georgia State College as they receive their high school diploma,” Light said.

Since East Georgia College is a part of the Georgia University System, all credits are transferable, making the hope for a future associ­ate’s degree program all the more sought-after.

While many schools have been forced to reduce or eliminate a number of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) classes to meet budget restraints, Lincoln County has actually added welding... .and. sheet... metal. . .. as.. .addi­tional .. options for career explora­tion.

Thus far, the new additions have proven successful as they even sprouted into a 10th place finish in a sheet metal competition by ninth-grade student Isabelle Link­ous who competed at a national convention over the summer, not to mention she likewise continues to excel academically through the program.

Like Linkous, many students at LCHS have been given the option to learn a skill set, which is coupled with their regular academic cours­es, as Lincoln County currently offers nine “career pathways” as a part of its CTAE program, with the expectation of even more options to be added in the future.

As of right now, the courses that are offered to students include therapeutic services/patient care; therapeutic services/public care; engineering and technology; audio and video, technology, and film; f.ood... .science;....... .c.onstructio.........n;.. .weld­ing; ... plant and landscaping. sys­tems; . and forestry/animal science systems.

Additionally, the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of Ameri­ca (FCCLA) in Lincoln County has also been recognized at the national level, as three students recently at­tended national competitions.

Along the same thread, Light re­ported that as the expansion of the FFA (formerly the Future Farmers of America) begins to blossom un­der new leadership, Lincoln County has been recognized with the state “Golden Radish Award” for locally grown food being purchased and used in the Lincoln County school cafeterias.

“This partnership helps provide the freshest food possible to the lunch trays of our students. The FFA has produced growing beds on campus to share in the growing and harvesting of produce for student consumption,” Light said.

One of the most diverse and re­cent explorations made in Lincoln County schools has come through a partnership established with the National Integrated Cyber Educa­tion Research Center (NICERC). Focusing on “cyber education,” NICERC is a curriculum design and professional development col­laborative for k-12 education.

In anticipation of a future high influx of soldiers at Fort Gordon, the civilian workforce needed to support the expansion will be enormous, according to Light. This partnership with NICERC was established in order to prepare stu­dents and give them the opportunity to explore the ever-prevalent field of cyber education.

“Lincoln County is exposing our students to this career opportunity to develop future employment op­tions,” Light said.

“This partnership will train teach­ers beginning November 3, April 2018, and June 2018. As this training expands our teachers will expose our students to more criti­cal thinking, problem solving, and communication issues on a global scale,” the superintended added. “An additional club is developing from this partnership – Cyber Patri­ot is a national group of cyber prob­lem solvers that compete against each other at different levels. The group is searching for coaches and mentors to assist in the nationwide virtual challenge that engages stu­dents in cyber security.”

There are 180 courses within the NICERC curriculum available for teachers to choose from, including topics such as “Cyber Society,” which covers laws, ethics, ter­rorism, and community online; “Cyber Literacy,” which explores electricity, programming, robotics, and liberal arts; and branches of physics, maths, and engineering; among other topics pertaining to the cyber realm.

“Out of the 180 courses available, a teacher could take two or three classes from the curriculum that re­ally fit them into what they want to teach. That’s where the joy comes in, and we hope to spur different interests in some of our students with it,” Light said.

“Lincoln County is preparing our students for the future by provid­ing options for all students!” Light emphasized, regarding the many outlets available to students in the Lincoln County school system.

In closing he added, “Our pur­pose is to help our students reach their fullest potential through world-class learning grounded in small-town values.”

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