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Project allows Greencastle students to take college classes

September 09, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Juniors and seniors at Greencastle-Antrim High School will be able to take college-level courses in their own classrooms once a new program, funded by a small state grant, goes into effect, the high school principal said this week.

The program, Project 720, named for the number of days a high school student spends from freshman through senior year, is "the frosting on the cake," Jack Appleby said. The school has already implemented similar programs into its curriculum.

Still, Appleby said, Project 720 will enhance what is already in place.

"It will give us a finishing touch," he said.

Greencastle-Antrim's share of the grant, $50,000 a year over three years, is the smallest of the 67 Pennsylvania high schools that applied for a slice of the grant money that Gov. Ed Rendell set aside for the program, Appleby said.

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One benefit will allow interested juniors and seniors to take college-level courses in their own school.

Appleby said Hagerstown Community College will certify Greencastle-Antrim teachers to become adjunct professors in the high school. Students who pass their courses will earn transferable college credits, Appleby said.

Project 720 will enable the school to tighten some graduation requirements, including increasing the number of required years of math from three to four years.

"We will also look at our curriculum to see if it really does lead to higher education or if it needs to be more rigorous," Appleby said.

Another Project 720 program is designed to help teachers to deal with students who can't read.

"There's always a small percentage who are doomed to failure," he said.

A consultant, paid with Project 720 funds, will be hired to evaluate how well and efficiently time is being used in the school. Also, the number of deans in the school will be increased from three to five.

The Greencastle-Antrim School District, already part of the state's Dual Enrollment program, has entered into an agreement with Penn State Mont Alto. The Project 720 grant would help to pay tuition and other expenses for local students to attend the Mont Alto campus while still in high school.

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