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Lafayette Jefferson High School expanding special course offerings

Jefferson High School is trying to stay ahead of state regulations by expanding its online course offerings.

Principal Jeff Studebaker thinks Indiana officials will soon make it mandatory for students to complete at least one online course in order to graduate.

He says as the school looks to improve its internet curriculum, it has to keep all students in mind.

"We are sensitive to educational realities. When we expel a kid, when they go out into the community, they're not getting an education and this will provide an avenue for them to do so."

Studebaker hopes to add value to students’ online experience by adding more courses and adopting better software systems. The school’s long-term goal is to recreate a traditional classroom experience over the internet.

Also, Jefferson's Health Services Certification Program will be extended to include sophomores and juniors. It currently allows students to pursue healthcare vocational work during their senior year.

Studebaker says as it stands, funding for the program is not a major concern.

"The nice thing about that is that every kid actually has vocational money attached to them, which is over and above what the state pays for any student in general. So that helps to defray the cost of the program quite a bit."

He says the long-term goal is for participants to be done with the bulk of their associate's degree at the time of graduation.

The program allows students to work toward EMT, dental hygienist, or CNA certification, among others. Roughly 100 underclassmen have signed up for the new phase of the curriculum, and administrators expect this number to increase as the program continues.