Southside High School kicks off first year as charter school - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Southside High School kicks off first year as charter school

(KAIT) -

The start of a new school year brings many new changes, and Southside Charter High School is no exception.

For the first time, students can take college-level courses before they graduate.

The school district received a charter school grant earlier this year.

Out of the school's 380 students, 109 of them are currently enrolled in the college classes.

Principal Roger Reid said Southside is offering 150 classes in conjunction with UACCB, all at a discounted price.

The partnership allows students to take courses in a classroom or online that correspond with their college major. 

Students can take welding and nursing classes at UACCB, and UACCB professors come to the high school to teach the rest of the classes. 

"You get experience with college-level work in a familiar setting," said junior Chae Wolfe. 

"It helps you get ahead," senior Evan Mosier said. "With today's times and how everyone's trying so much harder to get ahead, it gives you the step up you need."

Mosier and Wolfe said these college courses help kick start their careers. 

"By the time I graduate from here, I'll have at least 30 hours, if not more," said Mosier. "So I'll be going into college as a sophomore."

"I'll also have a full year of college done but also be able to graduate with my CDA," said Wolfe. "So I'll be certified to work in preschools, Head Start programs, things like that."

They said these classes also encourage more students to go to college.

"Many kids at Southside don't have the funds to go to college the first year and pay for it all," Wolfe said. "So this gives them a good opportunity. And it also makes it easier to decide what you want to study in college."

These college credit classes start Wednesday.

Principal Reid said the school currently works with Virtual Arkansas to provide several online classes for students, but he hopes to expand to other online opportunities.  

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