Changes at RCHS

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12-Credit Dual Enrollment/AP Course

This year, Rappahannock County High School administration became very creative in meeting the needs of its advanced students. Because of the highly requested opportunity for college credit in high school, the need for AP exam data, and the expectation for increased rigor, Rappahannock County High School has initiated a year-long AP English course that will give graduating seniors 12 college credits culminating with the Literature and Composition AP exam. “This is credited to our block scheduling,” said high school principal, Michael Tupper. “It allows us to have the seat time necessary to satisfy the college requirements, graduation requirements, and give students the time needed to study for the intense AP exam.” This hybrid course consists of English 111 and 112, the two required composition courses at most colleges, English 251 and 252, levels one and two of the college sophomore Survey of World Literature classes, and the AP English Literature and Composition course.

The hybrid advanced studies course will be led by author teacher, Sheila Lamb, who was featured in the July 31 edition of the Rappahannock News. Not only has she been completing her historical fantasy trilogy, including first novel, Once a Goddess, but working diligently aligning and mapping out her curriculum, which is essentially five preps in one. Each course requires its own syllabus in order to award dual enrollment credit and be recognized by College Board for AP. In order to be qualified to teach dual enrollment, teachers must either have a master’s degree in the discipline, or a master’s degree not in the discipline plus 18 graduate credits in the discipline. This is unlike AP, where teachers without a master’s degree can be trained in the week-long institutes offered throughout the state. Chester Gap resident, Sheila Lamb, has earned the credentials necessary to be the instructor of this new class.

“Our hope was to offer a similar opportunity to the rest of our students who do not attend Mountain Vista Governor’s School,” said Dr. Donna Matthews, Superintendent of Rappahannock County Schools, at the August 12 regular School Board meeting. “We have so many advanced students, but only four slots at Governor’s School, so we thought this would provide a way for these students to attain college credit while still satisfying the rigor of the AP requirements.” The course is being offered to over 24 students, all year, ninety minutes per day, in order to meet state guidelines and hourly requirements for college credit.

Exciting Changes for Eighth Graders

During the 2014-2015 Back to School night, parents and students were introduced to Rappahannock County High School’s new focus for the 8th graders this year which includes team building and student success programs. Students and parents were presented with information to assist these “new” high school students with keys to success. One area of concentration included a presentation on the formation of the P.R.I.D.E. clubs an acronym representing the phrase “Positive Relationships Inspire a Drive for Excellence.” The evening included the introduction of teaching staff, school expectations, locker combinations, and a “walk through” schedule opportunity for each student. Team building activities were shared with the students, as well as information concerning Verdun Adventure Bound, a positive teambuilding challenge program. The eighth grade students will participate in a field trip to Rixeyville in September to participate in the Verdun program.

As you can see, things are happening all around our wonderful schools as we embrace a new school year. We are excited and look forward to sharing more updates with our parents and our community on the happenings in our schools and most importantly, our Panther Pride!

-Dr. Donna Matthews, Superintendent of Schools




6 Schoolhouse Road | Washington, VA 22747