An early high school program has started in a Colorado school district, where students can take high school courses while still in eighth grade.

Soft SkillsIn Littleton, Colorado, the idea of an early college program, where students take college classes in high school has now entered middle school. “An extra year of high school early lets you take care of so many things that sometimes gets in the way for older students,” said Dr. Amy Oakes, Littleton High School principal.

The early high school program will start next year.  Current seventh graders can apply to attend Littleton High School full time as eighth graders, in order to get ahead with high school courses. They will be on the high school campus full time, but still technically counted as middle school students in their home schools.

“Looking back on who I was as a student, I think it’s a program I would’ve been interested in,” said language arts teacher Gretchen Stulock who is a graduate of Littleton High School.

“Having that rigor and being able to participate in high school things for five years would be a really wonderful opportunity for a lot of students,” Stulock said.

The purpose of the program is not early graduation, but to have students graduate with accelerated classes completed on time.

“We see students sometimes who don’t have enough room in their schedules eleventh and twelfth grade to do what they really want,” Oakes said.

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