Graduation Date: Friday, May 24 at 5:30 pm (Invitation is required)
Eric King, Principal
Mark Smith, College and Career Readiness Coach
Jeff Robbins, Teacher
Troy Costisick, Teacher
Vicki Bailey, Instructional Assistant
The Hugh C. Spalding Academy (A5) was inspired by the need to address a common message from past drop-outs; “I am behind on credits and older than my classmates.” To help provide an environment more appropriate for a student who needs additional time to meet basic criteria for graduation in areas such as Mathematics and English Language Arts the school board elected to start an A5 school which required fewer elective credits, while still maintaining the state requirements for a high school diploma. Prior to the HCSA there were only two options for students who had fallen behind - work on a GED or drop-out. Now there is a third option, which still keeps the door open for a high school diploma. There is an application process for admittance to the HCSA. A committee of educators review the applications to determine if the student’s needs and situation reflect the mission of the school.
The Hugh C. Spalding Academy offers a basic high school curriculum with a strong emphasis on work-based electives and experiences. Through a strong partnership with the local Area Technology Center (both schools share the same facility) students are scheduled into classes to meet basic educational requirements and shop-based electives geared towards hands-on experiences in areas our local industry and businesses employ. It is the intent of the HCSA to help place students in jobs prior to graduation or support students' enrollment in post-secondary training. The ATC and HCSA are both served by the same career counselor, further aligning the work and mission of both schools to improve student employability skills. The HCSA also allows students to work in a hybrid environment which includes some computer based courses, traditional classes, video conferencing, and flexible day schedules including Saturdays.
The Hugh C. Spalding Academy is in the first year of existence and it is still too early to determine the success of this venture. However, it is obvious from past experiences there was something lacking in opportunity for students with these unique needs and challenges. The Marion County School Board agrees our obligation is to serve and support all students towards career readiness and/or post secondary training. This program is an effort to move our community towards a genuine 100% graduation rate and better serve our students and community.