Dr. Sanders introduces Blue Streak University

District proposes new, cost-free college education (with video)
Alissa Widman Neese
Mar 28, 2014
new and potentially cost-free college is coming to Sandusky High School. The name: Blue Streak University.

The goal: dole out associate’s degrees alongside high school diplomas. Once fully implemented, the innovative opportunity will help Sandusky High School graduates be globally competitive, school officials said. It’s one of a dozen plans Sandusky Schools is poised to roll out, according to the district’s newly released Transformation Plan.

“We’re at a pivotal crossroads in our history,” superintendent Eugene Sanders said. “Do we want to rest on our laurels, or begin to chart a new path and forge in a new direction of change and excellence in our changing world?”

The Transformation Plan, an overhaul of every aspect of day-to-day operations, will guide all district decision-making for the next five years, Sanders said.

He presented an abbreviated version of the 85-page document at the Sandusky Rotary Club meeting at Castaway Bay on Thursday, at an event he dubbed his first annual “State of the Schools” address.

Watch the presentation in the player below

 

Significant upcoming changes, as detailed in the Transformation Plan, include:

•Global experience for seniors — Restructuring the senior year of high school. Instead of taking classes, a senior will spend his or her final semester in a “global experience,” either online college courses, internships or foreign exchange

•"STEAM” — Creating a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in all grade levels.

•Project-based learning — Incorporating project-based learning into classes, with an emphasis on collaborative, realworld experiences. Students will learn to grasp larger concepts and implement them toward solving problems.

•Athletics and activities — Hiring a full-time staff member to manage all aspects of student athletics and activities, from kindergarten through high school, to provide more opportunities for younger students. Previously the Blue Streak Athletic Boosters Club managed elementary-level athletics and activities.

•Alternative education — Offering a “menu” of opportunities in conjunction with traditional classrooms, including the Regional Center for Advanced Academic Studies, for gifted students; PRIDE Academy, for students with special needs; Sandusky Career Center, for career technical education; and Compass Academy, an alternative online school. North Point Educational Service Center currently operates Compass Academy, but the district plans to take over its management and rename it Sandusky Digital Academy.

Sanders also detailed plans to improve customer service, technology, transportation, food services, staff professional development opportunities and parent and community involvement in schools.

The massive Transformation Plan is about a year in the making. At more than a dozen meetings, a committee of school employees, parents and community members dissected each facet of Sandusky Schools to determine possible areas of improvement, Sanders said.

Based on reactions Thursday, it was well-received.

“In the last 28 years, I can truly say I’ve never experienced this energy like I am today,” said Julia Morton, a longtime district employee whose four children are district alumni and grandchildren are current students. “You can talk about this plan without notes, because it’s coming from the heart”

The next phase of transformation: implementation and constant evaluation.

“We’re going to continue to have town hall community meetings, so we can have engaged discussions,” Sanders said. “We want to listen to your feedback”

After his presentation Thursday, Sanders participated in an hourlong question-and-answer session with the Register and community members at Castaway Bay. 

Watch Between the Lines with school officials in the player below

 

   
The entire 85-page Transformation Plan will be available on the district’s website, and below. A summarizing PowerPoint will also be available.

Comments

Nor'easter

What is needed is to educate our students to be prepared for life before we worry about sending every student through the "university". It is crucial that all students know how to sew on a button, turn off the water supply valve, boil water, prepare a balanced meal, check the oil level, change a tire, hang a picture, clear a clogged drain, what the idiot lights in a car indicate and other basic survival common sense. Many, many jobs require specific knowledge, not a college degree. To attempt to put every student through college is a waste of resources, detrimental to survival, and a disservice to our community needs.

Licorice Schtick

So...Dr. Sanders wants Sandusky students to come away from their 13-year investment with a lot more, and you're against that? Because a lot of folks think that with the current system, students waste a lot of time and are ill-prepared for a productive life, gradutating with a high school diploma that's only slightly better than worthless in today's economy.

streak

Disagree nor'easter, those things you mentioned should be taught by parents. I understand that is not possible for some but they should be.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I would find the middle ground. Not all parents know these things and that is even in cases where economic factors are irrelevant. Learning skills like those are vital. As a high school graduate I'd love to have more than a diploma. Having a CPR card or the knowledge how to repair parts of my house are very important. Plus all those sundry skills are excellent lead-ins to other academic topics and classes. Changing tires can easily introduce the concept of Boyle's Law!

But to nor'easter, I'd say that having the ability to do more than just get a high school diploma is excellent and a great investment in the students. With the ground-up, system-wide changes it seems like they are proposing a whole new system to ramp students into a life and career, not just give 'em a "good game" on their way off the stage with a piece of paper that says you showed up for four years.

AJ Oliver

Respectfully disagree as well with Mr./Ms Nor -
Educational attainment (can be googled) has a big impact on quality of life, it makes one a better person, and most of all our kids need BS detectors. Otherwise they will grow up to be easy marks for the scams of the ONE PERCENT such as payday loans, etc., etc..

DEATHnTAXES

Can you say "property tax increase"?

Factitious

Excellent. Higher education will be changing. The current model cost too much for students and is not sustainable.

Licorice Schtick

A W E S O M E

Darkhorse

The plan is way out in left field for this area. So many things thrown altogether while bankrupting the average property owner through tax levies.

AJ Oliver

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance - oh wait, we already have. How's that working out for us? Actually, I do have reservations about on-line schooling, but that is another discussion. A main reason why education is expensive is that the ONE PERCENT no longer pays their share of taxes, and they have squeezed the wages of the rest of us. It's that simple.

Nor'easter

We already have basic ignorance coming out of current educational system. Teaching common sense basics is severely needed. Educational attainment (I googled it) is nothing more that another statisticians attempt to quantify the number of people who got a piece of paper, not an education.

donutshopguy

Not happy with the "Doling out associate degrees" description. Sounds like the handing out of slop through a cafeteria line.

Hope these students will earn those degrees. We don't need to dummy down an associate degree so everyone is equal like a HS diploma .

Will these degrees come from BGSU, Findlay or Terra Tech ? Can the credits be used towards a bachelors degree ?

If theses degrees are more than a glorified HS diploma than I'm all for it. Transfer the state funding from the HS to the university . That's how it's been done for decades when students from surrounding schools attended Firelands BGSU.

For those students with the grades, desire and aptitude , go for it and good luck. Chalk one up for personal responsibility .