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JHS Partners With JCC For An Integrated Curriculum

A new partnership with Jamestown Community College will provide Jamestown High School students with an integrated high school and college curriculum.

Dr. Bret Apthorpe, Jamestown Public Schools superintendent, announced the collaboration at the Board of Education’s meeting Tuesday.

“I was very happy about the notification that our high school was awarded the Smart Scholars Early College High School Grant,” Apthorpe said.

The Smart Scholars Early College High School Grant was awarded to JHS for five years for a tentative amount of $700,000. The grant will fund the partnership with JCC to provide academic and social supports to students. Students who participate in the program are eligible to graduate with 24 college credits. Apthorpe said that only 13 schools in New York state were awarded the grant last year, adding that it “aligns very directly with the Board’s goals of updating the secondary programming at Jamestown High School.”

“What this grant does is it enables a cohort of about 45 freshmen representing an unrepresented group of kids who typically don’t go to college,” Apthorpe said. “So, this would be our kids who live in poverty and our minority populations.”

Beginning in ninth grade, students selected for the program can begin taking combined college and high school courses. It also allows those students to begin spending time on the JCC campus. Students who complete the program will graduate with certificates along with their Regents diploma.

“For example, it might by hospitality, it might be programs at the Manufacturing Institute,” Apthorpe said of potential certifications students can graduate with. “Kids can literally graduate with almost an associate’s degree and be employable.”

The program comes at no cost to students or their families.

In other news, the meeting began with a performance from the JHS Madrigal Singers. The JHS A Cappella Choir typically performs at a board meeting ahead of the annual Vespers performance in Jamestown. This year serves as the 95th Annual A Cappella Vespers with the first performance being held on Dec. 8. Beginning in 1924, the concerts were a way for sacred holiday songs to be performed by Jamestown’s students for the community to enjoy. Former Director Ebba Goranson founded the choir in 1924 and current Director Norm Lydell continues to carry the tradition forward.

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