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January 10. 2014 8:00PM

Hooksett students begin selecting Pinkerton courses

DERRY — The course selection process has begun at Pinkerton Academy with an emphasis this year on reaching out to Hooksett students.

Several Hooksett students will attend the school next year after a one-year agreement was recently approved between Pinkerton and the Hooksett School Board.

Pinkerton representatives will travel to Hooksett this week to inform eighth-graders about the school and some of the courses open to them, said Chris Harper, dean of academic affairs.

"We are going to try to ensure that they understand who we are and what we do," Harper said.

Eighth-graders in the four sending towns — Derry, Hampstead, Chester, and Auburn — also will begin the process to choose their courses for the coming freshman year.

In addition, Pinkerton's current population of approximately 3,000 students started the process Tuesday to choose from 318 available courses. Course catalogs were scheduled to be distributed, along with the Program Guide for Career and Technical Development.

Students can begin reviewing courses and have until Jan. 15 to sign up online, Harper said.

To guide them through course selection, Harper said students are told of a "five-year plan" at Pinkerton. "It doesn't mean you're going to Pinkerton for five years," Harper said. "It means (considering) what are you going to do when you get out of here."

To help students get a better idea of their academic and career path, advisers ask them where they see themselves going after leaving Pinkerton, Harper said. The process then continues to work backward, and students are asked the same question going in reverse order from their senior year to their junior year and so forth.

"Now it may sound cliché, but this really is a pathway to your future," Harper said.

Harper offered some advice for students who are going through the course selection process. He said some students will sign up for a course solely because their friends are taking that subject. Although it's a popular approach, it's better to tailor courses to the individual, he said.

Students in the eighth grade who are on the verge of entering high school may not know what they want to do in the future or what courses to take, Harper said. During course selection, advisers work with students to determine what subjects they excel at to narrow down the courses they should take.

hmcgee@newstote.com


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