Thursday, April 18, 2019

SHS To Unveil Newly Remodeled Concurrent Zoom Classroom

Administrators, teachers and students are excited Sallisaw High School will soon unveil its newest offering to students.

Crews are currently working on renovating a traditional classroom into a concurrent classroom with Zoom technology on the Sallisaw High School campus that will allow college instructors from Carl Albert State College to conduct classes on the high school campus, according to Brad Jackson, SHS assistant principal.

“We just felt like it’s a great opportunity to provide our students with every opportunity and every advantage we can give them,” Jackson said. “We want to be setting the trends for our area.”

Sallisaw Superintendent Jeremy Jackson said students walking into the new classroom will feel like they are walking into a college classroom.

“We want it to be something they still have a desire to come in here, like they’re stepping onto a college campus somewhere,” Jeremy Jackson said.

Larger desktops and swivel seating on carpeted, stadium-type riser seating, along with surround-sound, television cameras with the Zoom technology, which allows for video conferencing, and a larger video screen will add to the collegiate atmosphere. The partnership with CASC will be evident, as Black Diamond graphics will cover one wall and Viking graphics will adorn another.

Brad Jackson explained that Sallisaw will use the classroom as a hub for other students throughout the county to also take advantage of the concurrent instruction. College instructors from CASC will be face-to-face in the Sallisaw High School classroom and be able to “zoom” into other school classrooms throughout the county, such as Muldrow, Roland and Vian.

SHS administrators have been working with Dr. Bill Nowlin, dean of enrollment management at CASC, on the county-wide partnership, that also includes a grant from the Cherokee Nation. Leflore County schools are also involved.

Currently, between 80 and 110 SHS students are taking concurrent classes, depending on ACT scores. That number could reach 300-400 students when factoring in students from other Sequoyah County high schools.

This fall, the concurrent classes offered through the Zoom-technology classroom include math, English, science and U.S. government. Sallisaw currently has one teacher dually certified to teach concurrent classes, with two more in process of dual certification.

Students must be a junior at SHS to participate in the concurrent classes. School counselors working with college advisors have assisted students interested in or taking the concurrent classes with schedules focused on their career study path.

“We have seniors who will be leaving the building with 30 hours of college credit,” explained Jeremy Jackson, adding that those are hours they received tuition-free, but do have to pay for books and fees.

Brad Jackson said the concurrent classroom will also help with those students unable to drive.

“This breaks down some barriers, especially for kids without transportation,” Brad Jackson said. “Kids who don’t drive yet can stay on campus and take college classes.”

Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

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