OAKHURST – Contemporary education places an emphasis on project-based learning and a graduate’s ability to make a smooth entry into the modern working world. Those ideas are being addressed by some of the current curriculum at Glacier High School Charter (GHSC).
Even before seniors consider financial aid for college, students 16 years and older can take courses that help prepare them for the future, such as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training.
The EMT classes are taught by Bill and Gina Hartley through the sponsorship of Sierra Ambulance. Seven GHSC students are taking the course free of charge, alongside their adult classmates, some of whom are firefighters.
“It covers all facets of preparation for the Basic EMT certification exam,” says GHSC Assistant Principal and teacher Eric Hagen. “The Hartleys really like the combination of adults and high school students. Our students are very excited. I had one parent share that she has never seen her son be so dedicated with his studies.”
Pictured with this story are students from GHSC posing during a break in class on Monday, Feb. 24. The EMT training meets three evenings a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Though younger students can take the course, they must be 18 years old to take the EMT certification exam.
Back in the classroom, GHSC has recently opened up a new Personal Finance class designed to help students establish good habits for long term success with money. Locally, Yosemite Bank gave a donation to cover approximately half the cost of the curriculum, and is helping in other ways as well.
“The class is being facilitated by two volunteers who are also parents from our schools: Paul DePledge and Vivian Carlson,” Principal Hagen explains, adding that Carlson is given free time away from her work at Yosemite Bank to co-teach the class.
With the second half of the 2013-2014 school year already underway, the school announced that some community scholarships will be available to Glacier High graduating students, once again.
“In the past, Glacier High students were able to apply for local scholarships through Yosemite High School (YHS),” Hagen recounts. “Two years ago YHS said we could no longer do that, so our students have been unable to participate in local scholarships,” continues the educator, adding that this was not a conflict with YHS and that they are now working through the set-back.
“We recently formed our own scholarship fund and are in the process of contacting local community organizations and businesses, asking that our students be included in their scholarships or if they would donate a scholarship directly to our school.”
The response so far is encouraging, he says.
“Many in the community were unaware that Glacier students were unable to apply for the scholarships in the last few years. My hope is to have local scholarships that our students can apply for this year. We have a great group of parent volunteers who are pounding the pavement, so to speak.”
Area businesses are known for their strong support of mountain schools and students.
“The local Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls, owned by the Magdelano family, recently helped us with a fundraiser for our senior class,” Hagen reports. “The money will help offset the costs with graduation. They donated about three quarters of the money back to the school, which amounted to about $1,000 so far.”
The Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls fundraiser is ongoing, say organizers, and community members can buy gift certificates through GHSC that can be redeemed at Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls, located in the parking lot by True Value Home Center on Highway 49.