Friday, August 8, 2008

Antioch freshmen return 'home,' school adds academies

By SUZANNE NORMAND BLACKWOOD 259-8268 • August 8, 2008 When classes resume this fall at Antioch High School, "we will feel whole again," said Principal Aimee Wyatt. Wyatt was referring to the return of Antioch freshmen, who had been meeting at J.F. Kennedy Middle School while the new Cane Ridge High School was under construction. With the opening of Cane Ridge High School on Monday, overcrowding at Antioch will be relieved, making room for the Antioch freshmen. "We're excited about them returning," said Wyatt, adding it's like a "homecoming." Wyatt said the freshmen would still have their own space, since one section of the school will house the Antioch Freshman Academy. But they also will have older students to serve as mentors. New Assistant Principal Debbie Booker will oversee the ninth-graders. Changes at Antioch this year include the addition of some Advanced Placement courses; an ACT prep course; and a freshman seminar course to help freshmen make the transition to high school. "We've also added career academies," Wyatt said. "This is the first year of implementation." Previous programs, such as engineering, business, marketing and hospitality, are being converted into career academies. A Web site design course has been added to the business program. Also, said Wyatt, "we've added an agricultural program, broadcasting and graphic communications." Other changes this year include an out-of-school suspension center; the addition of a family community liaison; five new computer labs; and an A+ Lab, "which is where students can go to get credit retrieval if they have failed a class," Wyatt said. The lab is also for those who are simply struggling with course work, she added. Although the school had improved scores in every area, it did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress in algebra under the federal No Child Left Behind benchmarks. At the out-of-school suspension center, students can continue to go to classes while receiving instruction on how to correct their behavior, Wyatt said.

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