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Richardton-Taylor prepares seniors for college

This school year, Richardton-Taylor High School will implement two new programs to prepare its senior students for college. One will be an online class; the other a capstone project. As part of state requirements under the Every Student Succeeds ...

This school year, Richardton-Taylor High School will implement two new programs to prepare its senior students for college. One will be an online class; the other a capstone project.

As part of state requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the school will begin offering an online class in the spring for seniors who performed under college-readiness levels on their ACT, which are a score of 18 in English, 22 in reading and 21 in math.

"I would say it's important just to make sure that when they enter college - if that's what they're choosing to do - they are college-ready so that they can start with their general courses right away and aren't having to do the remedial classwork," said Kayla Zent, math teacher and advisor for the program.

Students wishing to take the self-paced course will take a pre-test that will determine what skills they need to improve upon.

"(This course) is going to be different for every person, depending on their strengths or weaknesses," Zent said.

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At the end of the course, they will take another test.

"If kids take this class and pass it, then they're guaranteed that when they go to college they'll be able to start at that college algebra or college comp (composition)," Zent said.

There is a $105 fee for the class, but that will be waived if the student passes the test at the end. The class will be an elective, and the students will receive high school credit for it.

Although the online class is optional, the capstone project - a portfolio - will be a requirement for all seniors.

Students will collect work they have completed throughout their high school years into a binder with an annotated table of contents. In the table of contents, they will reflect on each piece, which will help them understand their growth as a student, said Alexia Tutorow, English teacher.

Also included in the binder will be a personal essay, resume and a three- to five-page research paper on the career of their choosing.

In addition to the binder, students will complete a career project, such as job shadowing, on which they will reflect.

"It kind of gives them an idea of if they're going to enjoy that career or not, and it gives them a chance to explore careers maybe that they're on the fence about," said Alexia Tutorow, English teacher.

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Students will present their portfolios to a group of administrators and teachers, who will provide feedback.

"I know most of us had to do portfolios in college, and this is basically preparing them to be able to do that, but doing it on more of a high-school level," Tutorow said.

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