Eighth graders are intent on changing high school for the better before they get there, and so they are reimagining high school, thinking of  better uses of students’ time.

Soft SkillsThis year is the first time that several high school classes in Salem, Virginia are offered for credit toward graduation in middle school. Eighth graders could begin their freshman year next year with 50 percent more credits than previous students. The question that the students and others are considering is this: What kinds of things are possible in high school when students may have more free time due to credits they gained in middle school?

“This is a big deal,” said Sarah Gerrol, who teaches introduction to engineering at Andrew Lewis Middle School. “It’s going to take a few years to incorporate it and make it work really well so they understand the impact. … I’m excited to see what’s going to come up at the high school.”

Salem High School is one of five schools in the state which were awarded a Virginia innovation grant.  These grants are meant to encourage 21st century education.

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