Glendale and Hillcrest freshmen to test pilot academy program

Some Springfield freshmen will test out a new kind of learning next year through the new academy program.

As a part of the pilot program, the students will take an additional one-half credit course, during which they'll be broken into smaller learning communities and will explore different career paths.

Executive Director of Secondary Learning Shane Dublin says during the first year of the program, district leaders will be evaluating whether or not to grow the academy concept into older grades at those two schools.

Further expansion could mean creating courses that focus on different careers and areas of study and allowing students to choose their classes depending on their career or college path.

Dublin says the course is all about giving the students more choice during their high school career.

"If it has the success that we anticipate, we will start the process of exploring possible expansion into the upper grades at Glendale and Hillcrest. Again, we just really want to look at the freshmen academy, give it time to take effect at Glendale and Hillcrest and look at student engagement, that key theme, if kids are more engaged," Dublin said.

School leaders say they will be in contact with parents and students about this new program within the month.