Hancock Board of Education approves trimester plan – keweenawreport.com

Hancock Central High School is switching to trimesters for the 2021-22 academic year. Principal Chris Salani presented on how credits will convert for underclass students at Monday’s Board of Education meeting. Algebra One and Integrated Science will both remain a year long, but most other courses will transition to the new structure. That means students will go from needing 44 credits for graduation under the semester system to over 70. Current students will fall somewhere in between depending on how many years they have already attended.

Superintendent Steve Patchin says he is excited to see the flexibility trimesters offer.

I was talking to someone who loves shop, but wanted to be a civil engineer. So, they took their shop classes, they took some building trades and CTE [career and technical education], and then they got to take some calculus to go along with that. It gives kids a chance to mix and match like that. It’s all about choice with kids.

Patchin also used an example of a child who wished to become a nurse for their career during the meeting. They would be able to focus on anatomy, biology, and chemistry rather than physics because that is more germane to track they intend for life.

The board heard from the Junior ROTC program, currently hosted by Houghton-Portage Township School District. The group hopes to increase its presence on campus. Only ten students come from Hancock, with Jeffers adding four and Houghton contributing around 40, plus 11 eighth graders. Due to the structure of JROTC, only the participating school can have middle schoolers involved.

COVID-19 affected much of what the program does, including its visibility in the community. The group normally provides a Color Guard at 50 events. That was cut to four over the past year, the most recent being the rededication ceremony for Memorial Park in Hancock. A majority of the leadership for next school year, including the Battalion Commander, are Hancock students. They talked about how the program has changed their life, but they have had limited opportunities to recruit other Bulldogs. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to Houghton, which limits participation as well. They asked the board for more support to restore JROTC to a prominent place at Hancock Central High School.