CAVE CITY, AR (KAIT) - Cave City High School is one-step away from becoming a charter school.
High school teacher Cheryl Bell and high school counselor Vicki Green paved the way for Cave City students to have options after high school.
If the school becomes a charter, students will be able to receive finical help when heading to college or certificates for certain trade areas.
"We were just giving kids high school diplomas and patting them on the back and saying good luck to you," Bell said. "So we knew we wanted to do more for our kids who were not going to college and then add some support for the kids who are going to college."
College bound students can earn up to 60 hours of college credit through concurrent credit course at Cave City High School.
Students have the opportunity to receive an Associate's Degree along with their high school diploma.
Ozarka College is even offering 12 hours of free college courses for students who come in with 12 hours of concurrent credit.
"So essentially they are getting 24 hours of college credit at no cost," Bell said.
The charter school will also cater to students who want to wait on college or forgo it all together.
Students can get value added diplomas at graduation, which prove a student's proficiency in a certain trade.
"We know that they need some skills coming out of high school to make them marketable to help them get a leg up so they can be self-sustaining and independent," Bell said
Bell and Green said the students are very excited for the possibly of becoming a charter school.
"We have even seen tears from some, tears of appreciation," Bell said. "They know what this means for them, it is life changing."
The current Cave City college retention rate is very low according to Bell, so faculty and students both hope this charter will help get more students to a higher education.
"It has been overwhelming for me," Green said. "I did not realize how much financial reasons have held them back from concurrent credit. They are a lot more focused about their education, so they are very excited."
Both women said this opportunity is about getting their students ready for life after high school.
"We realize college is not for every student. They might chose to forgo college right away and go later or they might chose not to go at all," Bell said. "So we are trying to help our students build skills for after high school, whatever those choices might be."
The Arkansas Board of Education must approve the charter to make it official. The approval meeting will be held Dec. 10.
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