By Luke Burton, The Charter News
Pressure from the state on the four year graduation rate causes Alliance Charter Academy to not allow a fifth year of high school if students can graduate on the four year track.
Traditionally, at ACA, a fifth year of high school was ok. For example, in the 2015-16 school year, ACA had twenty-one students graduate in their four years, and had eleven students go on to a fifth year, according to ACA registrar, Vicki Nelson.
That has all changed now. ACA is trying their best to help students wishing for a fifth year that aren’t going to get one now. ACA is allowing anyone who was accepted into their fifth year to continue this year. After that there are no more super seniors. ACA Director Nic Chapin and the rest of the staff are hoping this allows a big enough transition time so students wishing for a fifth year can adjust and figure out what to do next.
When people look at ACA’s four year graduation rate they see that it’s only about 52%. That is a very low percent compared to West Linn High School with a 98% four year graduation rate. As you can see the state might get a little concerned about ACA. In turn, ACA has changed their policy and will no longer be accepting applications for a fifth year of high school.
“About 52 percent of ACA students graduate on the four year track. This makes it look like only half of our students are graduating,” said Mr. Chapin. “What people don’t see is that about 93 percent of students are graduating, they just took a fifth year to do it.”
The change affects Alliance College Experience (ACE) students, too. For those who don’t know, ACE is a program ACA offers for high school students to enable them to take classes at CCC for college and high school credit. Also ACE is not just a two year program. You can be in the ACE program for just one year if that is better for you depending on your schedule.
“Starting in 2017-18, any 10th or 11th grade student may apply for ACE. We are no longer accepting applications from 12th grade students for ACE.”said Jill Mohr, ACA’s Associate Director. “10th grade students may apply for a second year. 11th grade students are not eligible for re-application. ACA is working towards helping all students complete their four year graduation requirement as outlined by state of Oregon,”
Cantrell, Kathleen, Personal Interview, 9/25/17
Chapin, Nic, Personal Interview, 10/2/17
Mohr Jill, Email Interview, 9/27/17
Nelson, Vicki, Personal Interview, 10/11/17
“2016 Oregon high school graduation rates :: Your Schools – The ….” http://schools.oregonlive.com/grads/. Accessed 4 Oct. 2017.