Hayden Hayden school officials are making plans to visit five schools across the country that are using a high school model, which local officials are interested of possibly instituting here.
Currently, Hayden High School Principal Nick Schafer, with the help of other school faculty is in the process of applying for a Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration grant from the United States Department of Education.
Schafer is currently working on the grant application that is due June 1. If the district receives the grant, it could bring between $60,000 and $75,000 a year to the school for three years.
The district would utilize the grant money to institute a reform model into its teaching curriculum.
As part of the grant application, school officials need to identify and include a model they would like to implement to change the district's current seven-period day.
After submitting about 200 surveys to the community between Feb. 7 and Feb. 12, the school's administration is moving forward with the survey results.
From about 50 surveys the school received back, the overwhelmingle support was for "High School's that Work."
This model was formed in 1987 by the Southern Regional Education Board-State Vocational Education Consortium.
The model is based upon a curriculum that blends the content of college preparatory mathematics, science, language arts and social studies courses with modern vocational-technical studies.
"This model was my first choice," Schafer said. "It has a strong vocational teaching and this is what we need here."
High Schools that Work is geared to give students access to college-preparatory-level academic courses taught to high standards.
The courses require students to work harder in and out of class and prepare them for the demands of the workplace, colleges and universities.
The model also provides quality vocational courses that require students to solve problems and make connections with the workplace.
There are about 970 schools in 22 states using this model of learning. To find out how the model is working at other schools, five teams from the school district will be visiting five schools.
Teams, which will consist of teachers, administration and school board members, will travel to schools in Texas, Kansas, Ohio and two in Kentucky, Schafer said.
"These are some of the best performing schools in the country," he said. "We will visit with these schools to see how they are using the model."
Schafer is hopeful the visits for each team can be done before the end of the school year.
Funding the grant preparation and travel expenses is a $6,800 planning grant the school received.
Once the five teams return from each of their designated school sites, the teams will meet together and discuss whether or not to go ahead and submit the application, Schafer said.
Superintendent of Schools Scott Mader believes that if the school does apply for the grant, support from the high school's faculty is needed.
"Reform is up to the faculty," said Mader, who is supportive of the school's work on the grant. "If you don't have the faculty behind reform, it won't work."
If Schafer and the faculty decide to submit the grant application, the grant money will not be easy to get, Mader said.
"We have a tough road ahead of us," he said. "There is a lot of tough competition."
Schafer is interested in applying for the federal CSRD grant because he believes change is needed within the school to improve student achievement and revamp the school's policies regarding discipline and attendance.
Other possible changes include the school's current seven-period day and the academic calendar.
Along with High Schools that Work, the school was also interested in three other reform models, Coalition of Essential Schools, Modern Red Schoolhouse and Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound.
Each model offered different methodologies for teaching and instruction.
If the school applies and is awarded the grant, the money will be available in the fall.