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Florence School District Five has nursing assistant program in planning stages

August 23, 2016 GMT

JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. – Johnsonville High School Assistant Principal Renee Sanders said the school is taking major steps to improve the quality of what is being offered to students and the opportunities they have while in high school.

At a Florence County School District Five board of trustees meeting Monday, the district’s principals gave updates of what new is occurring within their schools. Part of what Sanders mentioned was the dual enrollment courses that are now being offered to high school seniors through Florence-Darlington Technical College.

Fourteen students at Johnsonville High School are taking college courses through the dual enrollment program. The students can receive credit for two courses per semester. Each course lasts eight weeks, and upon completion, the student earns both college and high school credits.

Students at the high school complete the courses online and get to decide which ones they want to take.

“We are looking at expanding our dual enrollment program even more next year.” Sanders said. “We’re looking at offering it to juniors as well as to seniors. And so we’re real excited about the opportunities that they’re going to have and the things that they’re going to be able to do with this.”

District Five Superintendent Randy Smiley said he thinks the dual enrollment program should be expanded sooner than later. He said he would really like to see juniors start taking college courses in the spring instead of next school year.

Smiley said FDTC is also interested in working on other programs with the district.

“One thing they’re interested in doing that they think they can arrange is a CNA program, which is a certified nursing assistant, which in essence is a health science program, at very little cost,” Smiley said.

The CNA program, which is still in the planning stages, would be a dual credit program. Smiley said the district already has a campus health center. It houses equipment, but the district might have to add a few other pieces of equipment if it decides to bring a CNA program there. One of the only things the district would possibly have to fund is the salary for instructors, Smiley said.

The state will give the district nearly an extra $600 for each student that is enrolled in the dual enrollment program.

“The plus to that is we can take that money and then pay for any other charges like for setting up CNA, certified nursing assistants, or something,” Smiley said. “Any kind of other charges that are related that we have to end up shelling out, we can use that money as a pool to do that.”

Smiley said FDTC is more than willing to help the district. If started in FCSD5, the CNA program will be state certified, and students will leave with a license.