More than 1,000 students are currently enrolled in the A+ Program at Washington High School, according to Steve Pryor, coordinator.
Pryor updated school board members on the program during their January meeting.
The program provides scholarship funds to eligible high school graduates from designated A+ schools who attend a participating public community college or vocational/technical schools, or certain private two-year vocational/technical schools.
The funds cover tuition and fees for two years.
To be eligible for the assistance, students must meet a number of requirements, including:
• Graduating with a 2.5 GPA or higher;
• Have at least a 95 percent attendance record for grades nine-12;
• Perform at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring, of which up to 25 percent may include job shadowing; and
• Maintain a record of good citizenship and avoid the use of alcohol or drugs.
Pryor said a new requirement beginning with the Class of 2015 is that students must score advanced or proficient on the Algebra 1 end of course (EOC) exam.
Students who do not score at those levels on their initial attempt will be given the opportunity to retest during the December EOC test of their junior year.
The primary goal of the program, he said, is to ensure all students who graduate from Washington High School are well prepared to pursue a postsecondary education.
“We realize that not every student will be designated as an A+ student, but each student is enrolled during their initial registration,” he said, adding that school officials communicate with parents and student regarding their progress.
Pryor said the program has proven to be a great benefit for WHS students.
“The average A+ designation over the past five years is 185 students per year,” he noted. “Sixty percent of the 2013 graduates were A+ designated.”
Pryor said about 234 seniors are on track to graduate with the designation this year, but that number may drop before May.
“We are one of the leaders in the state for our size of school,” he pointed out.
Pryor said a large number of A+ students are tutoring and mentoring in the district’s elementary schools and teachers are very appreciative of their help. He read several letters from elementary teachers who were complimentary of the A+ students.
“It’s a great program,” said school board President Scott Byrne.
Lexi Geisert, the new student adviser to the school board, said the program provides a “good start” to college and students are not in debt their first two years.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education administers the scholarship component of the program.