New Advantage Program running

Caroline Baumker, Editor-In-Chief

North students who are falling behind in their high school credits have the option of attending the new Advantage Program.

“It [is] a credit recovery program where students can make up credits they [are] deficient in and stay on track for graduation,” Advantage Program teacher Diana Hames said.

Hames oversees the program, which is online based, with the help of her teacher’s assistant Lisa Fuhr. The two teachers tutor students and monitor their quizzes and tests.

“It [is] an untraditional setting… [and] self-paced,” Hames said. “They can rewind [the lessons] and take notes.”

Room 186 was chosen to host the program on account of it being both a computer lab and a classroom. It was considered the most pragmatic of the rooms due to its unique classroom and lab layout.

School counselors and staff are grateful for this program.

“This is a great way for students to make up a credit, or credits, with the help of two teachers right there in the room as they’re working on the material,” guidance counselor Tom Scheaffer said.

According to Principal Ross Draper the program was piloted last year at Plainfield Central and was approved during the summer for all four schools to be able to use. Students enroll in the class if they are either failing a class from the year prior or deficient in credit.

Over the summer there was an interview process for North’s Advantage Program director. “Mrs. Hames was chosen from the pool,” Associate Principal Stan Bertoni said.

“We’re getting some kids that have fallen behind…and getting them back on track, Fuhr said. “It’s a good atmosphere for some students.”

Scheaffer said that in order to graduate, a student needs three science, four English and three math credits. Alternative options to the Advantage Program are the American School and Keystone High School.

“You can either do [American] online… or [through] correspondence…where they mail you the work,” Scheaffer said.

Another option that students have to make up deficient credits is to enroll in summer school.

“With prior approval students can make up to  two credits,” Bertoni said.

Teaching the class to the current roster of 15 students can be challenging considering everyone is at different places in the lessons. Plus, Hames and Fuhr cover everything from English to math to science.

Fuhr was “excited about the program” and how it would help students, and she felt she would professionally grow working in it.

“[The program is] new to the school this year… but I was in the Star Plus program before. I felt it would be a…good fit for me,” Fuhr said.