OC principal eyes high school credits in middle school

Staff writer

Oil City High School co-principal Scott Stahl presented a proposal to Oil City school board members Monday for middle school students to get high school credits for taking high school-level classes.

Stahl proposed the policy to make high school more flexible, allowing some seniors to take college classes or internships.

Stahl said there are 36 middle school students taking algebra I and 42 middle school students taking high school-level Spanish, as well as a few gifted students taking additional high school courses.

Under the policy, Stahl said credits and not the grades would transfer so there is no chance of the student’s grade point average suffering due to taking a high school course in middle school.

“We want to reward the student for taking the rigorous path,” Stahl said.

Board member Fred Weaver asked if there were any qualifying factors for students to take the advanced courses.

High school co-principal Lynda Weller said qualification would be based on middle school PSSA scores.

Area school districts that have already offered this program are Lakeview, Titusville, Millcreek, Union City and Greater Latrobe.

“The world is changing,” Stahl said. “Schools are becoming more flexible, and we want students to move along at a healthy pace.”

In other business Monday, the co-curricular activities committee announced that after interviewing several candidates for head cheerleading coach, the panel is asking the board to approve Allison Lingo.

The committee is also requesting approval of Evan Basham as head golf coach.

At the next voting meeting on Monday, the board will accept the retirement request of Molly Scannell, special education teacher at the South Side schools, effective June 6.

Superintendent Pat Gavin said he has received additional retirement requests that will be on Monday’s agenda.

Also on the agenda is approval to hire the following staff for the extended school year: Karla Daman as teacher, Joanna McElhattan as speech therapist and Traci Berry and Susan Whittemore as paraprofessionals.

Gavin announced that the Hasson playground debt has been paid in full and that the board will vote to approve the closing the of the Hasson Playground Bank Account at Northwest Savings Bank.