Tupelo to proceed with high school pilot program

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

The Tupelo Public School District will participate in a pilot program that could allow students to graduate as sophomores or to enroll more rigorous college preparatory classes.
The district has been invited to participate in the pilot program by the Mississippi Department of Education. Tupelo’s school board approved the district’s participation in the program with a 4-0 vote at Tuesday’s regular meeting. Board member John Nail was absent.
The program would be optional for high school freshman, who would take two years of courses in English, science, social studies, math and a fine art. After those two years, those students will take a board exam that is aligned with international norms.
Students who pass that board exam would have four options:
• Enroll in an upper division of the program with college preparatory classes
• Graduate and enroll in a community college
• Graduate and move to the workforce
• Remain in the program to further sharpen their skills.
Students would also have the option to remain in traditional four-year high school classes or to return to those classes at any time.
Superintendent Randy Shaver said the district will likely begin the program this fall with a cohort of 32 to 35 freshmen.
The program still must be approved by the state’s board of education, which is expected to discuss the program in January.
For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Daily Journal.