Members of the Storm Lake Hi-Noon Kiwanis Monday heard about progress made at the Storm Lake High School/Iowa Central Community College Charter School that just started this fall.
The Charter School, though, is just the latest in a number of steps toward fulfilling Storm Lake's educational diversity initiative, Anderson said.
Dan Anderson, director of the Storm Lake Center of Iowa Central Community College, said the collaboration between Iowa Central Community College and Storm Lake High School began more than 30 years ago at the Hayes Center, located in the old Hayes School south of Storm Lake.
What is particularly attractive about the charter school is the high demand for skilled workers in areas that do not require a college degree, Anderson said He said only 20 percent of job openings in the U.S. labor market require a four-year degree. The Charter School, established through a federal grant, will help prepare students for the workforce, Anderson said. Charter School students may also take traditional college-level classes.
Anderson said the Charter School requires minimum test scores. If a student should test below a certain score, there are developmental reading, writing, and math courses to bring the student up to the necessary level, Anderson said.
Many students at Storm Lake High School who speak English as a second language are enrolled in a number of programs to improve their language skills, such as the Intensive English program, Anderson said.
"That's what it's all about, dreaming and having the system in place to achieve those dreams," Anderson said.