BOE briefs

February 27, 2003

HCC offers free tuition for high school program

Hagerstown Community College and Washington County Public Schools signed on the dotted line Tuesday, paving the way for high school students to earn college credits while attending high school.

The Essence program - Early Support for Students to Enter College Education - will offer financial aid in this endeavor, a key factor according to HCC President Guy Altieri, who presented the program formally at Tuesday night's Washington County Board of Education meeting.

Altieri said up to 80 high school students will be eligible to receive free tuition for up to 12 college credits through a 50 percent reduction at HCC and scholarship money from the college foundation and the Community Foundation of Washington County.

"This comes at a great time for us now that the 'No Child Left Behind' program is in force," said Washington County Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan.


Carolyn Brooks, vice chairman of the HCC board of trustees, said the Essence program means that more deserving students will get the education they need to succeed.

"The bonus will be in seeing a lot of first-generation college students come out of this program," Brooks said. "It's a real jump-start."

Brad Sell, deputy director of the Community Foundation, said his organization is always looking for ways to improve the quality of life in Washington County and this qualifies.

HCC Foundation President Mike Morrell agreed that increasing the number of high school students who attend college is laudable.

Altieri said ultimately the program will provide $240,000 needed to help 240 students participate.

North and South Hagerstown High schools are operating a pilot program before the full implementation begins in September, Altieri said.

School employees work four-day week in summer

Testing a new four-day work week for Washington County Public Schools employees and programs during the summer of 2002 proved convincing enough to make it official for the summer of 2003.

"It was very successful last summer. I only heard good feedback," said Washington County Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan.

Only pluses were reaped from the plan, Morgan said. It saved money in air-conditioning costs, it raised morale and staff could enjoy more time with their families.

The four days were and will be each 10 hours long rather than five days at eight hours each, said Carol Mowen, public information officer for the school system.

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