Traditional High Schools Offer Diversity, Options
Story by: Gemma Sutkiewicz
Several charter high schools are now part of the Sheboygan Area School District.
They range from a high school for the arts to individualized online learning.
Who are the students attending the charter schools, and are their needs really not being met at the district’s traditional high schools, North High and South High?
The George D. Warriner High School uses online courses as their school model, yet online courses typically account for less than 50% of students’ credits, according to the school’s administrator, Jake Konrath.
Warriner requires less physical education and social studies classes for graduation than North or South.
Konrath states that there are a variety of reasons for students choosing Warriner over the traditional high schools, noting, “The reason is different for almost every student.”
“Some students want to accelerate and take as many AP and college courses as possible, others like the flexibility in scheduling, the small school environment, and the personalized approach,” Konrath added.
While Warriner has a much smaller student population than the district’s traditional high schools, the student teacher ratio at Warriner is estimated to be 25:1, approximately the same as at North or South.
Konrath maintains that Warriner offers flexible scheduling, with some students attending only once a week while others choose to attend more frequently to see friends and get help from teachers.
Central High School opened its doors in the fall of 2011. According to school counselor, Jennifer Maramonte, the school offers programs such as project based learning, GED Option 2, Parenting Lab, Teenage Parent Program and district wide after school and summer programs for credit recovery.
For students behind in the required number of credits for graduation or those with the challenge of raising a child while finishing high school, Central is a good option.
Maramonte also cited the school’s smaller student population and personalized learning plans as positives.
Ideas Academy is the district’s high school for the arts. Administrator Ted Hamm refused to comment for this story, stating he did not have time to answer any questions.
Students from Ideas report that they enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the hands on learning that focuses on the arts.
Ideas student, Ismael Reyes, notes that, “You don’t read things right out of a text book. You use visual arts to learn math, science or social studies.”
Reyes finds the other students to be accepting and non judgmental.
Kelsey Fick, a sophomore at Ideas, agrees. “I really love my school because it’s such a community where you have your group of friends, but for the majority, everyone gets along.”
South High Principal Michael Trimberger feels that South has just as many things to offer as the district’s charter schools.
South offers diversity, many co - curricular activities and paid internships.
Trimberger emphasizes the Career Pathways program where students can earn college credit and work experience in a chosen field such as health care or engineering.
North and South both offer a large variety of classes from extremely challenging academic courses that prepare students for top colleges to art/drama/music classes or specialized classes in vocational areas.
While both high schools have large student bodies, they offer many opportunities to get involved in activities such as forensics, choir or cultural clubs.
With the exception of students who need to make up credits or face other challenges, North and South High Schools can meet the needs of the district’s high school students.
Lots of exciting things are happening right here at South, like the Career Pathways program. While every student needs to make a choice that is right for him or her, the Sheboygan Area School District’s traditional high schools seem to have something for everyone.