Charter school has information sessions
By RITA FARLOW
Published January 24, 2007
Students who will be entering 10th or 11th grade next fall and wish to apply to St. Petersburg Collegiate High School must attend one of three upcoming orientations.
The charter school's three-year, dual-enrollment curriculum offers students the chance to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate's degree at no cost from St. Petersburg College.
The school is operated by St. Petersburg College and sponsored by the Pinellas County School Board.
St. Petersburg Collegiate opened in August 2004 and serves Grades 10 through 12. Last year, it ranked highest among county high schools on the state Department of Education's school accountability report. The report assigns letter grades to public schools based on student performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
Students attend classes in a large portable on the college's Gibbs Campus and in the main buildings on campus, alongside college students. The program is best suited for mature, motivated students, said principal Linda Benware.
"The students like the focus on academics. There are very few distractions, very few, if any, discipline issues that we face. We focus on learning, and learning is expected and valued," Benware said.
Sophomores take a precollegiate track to get them ready for life on campus. "I've learned a lot of time management skills. That's a really important thing that anyone needs to know," said Daniel Spray, 16.
Sophomore Chelsea Watkins of Palm Harbor said she tries to stay on top of her homework by doing a little each day. "It's a very easy program to lose focus in, since you don't have the constant eye watching over you, so you just make sure you're aware of your study habits," said Watkins, 15.
Juniors and seniors take college classes to earn credits toward an associate's degree.
Senior Matthew McKarney, 18, said the program might not be for everyone but was perfectly suited to his needs. He's become accustomed to life on campus and feels confident about starting work on his bachelor's degree in anthropology next fall at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Current students and faculty will be at each orientation to answer questions and hand out application packets. Applications will be accepted though March 1. An eligible student must be a Pinellas County resident and attend one of the information sessions.
Eligible students are chosen randomly, but there are limited spots. For next year, about 55 seats will be available to incoming sophomores and 10 for incoming juniors, Benware said.
Where and when
St. Petersburg Collegiate High School will host the following information sessions for prospective students and their families at St. Petersburg College campuses:
- 7 to 9 p.m. today, Allstate Center, Florida Room, 3200 34th St. S, St. Petersburg.
- 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 31, Clearwater Campus, Arts Auditorium, 2465 Drew St.
- 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 6, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, Music Center, 6605 Fifth Ave. N.
The deadline for applications is March 1. Attendance at one of the meetings is required to apply to the school. For more information, visit the Web site at spcollege.edu/spchs.
[Last modified January 24, 2007, 07:01:57]
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