School Board Hears Positive News on Dual Enrollment

The Clarke County School Board heard last night that students attending dual enrollment programs at both Shenandoah University and Lord Fairfax Community College are continuing to perform well. However, a popular nursing course offered through Shenandoah University may be in jeopardy.

“Out of the kids that we had in dual enrolled last year, every single one of them earned full credit with the exception of five students,” said CCPS instructor Thom Potts. “And out of those five I believe that two of them were not successful in the course, and three students withdrew from the course for various reasons.”

Although the dual enrollment program continues to be popular by allowing high school students to earn college credits at CCHS while only paying approximately one third of the LFCC on-campus cost, School Board member Robina Bouffault (White Post) questioned why dual enrollment numbers have dropped this year.

“While last year we had 499 students taking regular courses and 284 chose dual enrollment and only five didn’t make it,” Boffault noted. “This year, instead of 499 student courses we only have 278 student courses and we don’t know yet know how many are opting for dual enrollment. Do you think that is a question of the fact that you have to pay for credit?”

“Yes, that could be,” replied Potts who confirmed that the cost of a three-credit-hour LFCC course costs CCPS students only approximately $89. “I think one of the reasons too is that we’re at a bubble year. Last we had a large number of accelerated students that resulted in a high number of enrollments in some of those classes.”

Potts said that taking the same course at the LFCC campus would cost students approximately $382.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Murphy added that part of the decline was attributable to the loss of qualified instructors.

“The first two courses were taught by an instructor who is no longer with us,” Murphy said. “So that’s 28 kids who are no longer enrolled. A lot depends on having instructors with the proper qualifications.”

While many students have gravitated to the wide variety of courses offered at LFCC, one of CCPS’s most effective career education options is the nursing program offered by Shenandoah University. School Board members learned last night that the program appears headed for discontinuation.

“That’s been one of our more successful classes if I recollect,” said Bouffault referring to the nursing program. “Every year we really do well.”

“But I believe that it’s fixing to come to an end,” said Dr. Murphy.

CCHS principal Dr. Jeffrey Jackson confirmed that Shenandoah University had increased the class’s requirements to fit the needs of Shenandoah’s program and that CCHS’s instructor may no longer be qualified to teach the class.

“This is a conversation that is still taking place but it’s possible that we may no longer qualify,” Jackson said.

School Board member Janet Alger (Russell) pointed out that although the Shenandoah nursing course was threatened, CCHS’s nurse’s aide course offered through LFCC was not threatened.

A portion of Monday night’s meeting focused on steps that the school division can take to help students begin thinking about career plans early. All of the School Board members agreed that funding a career coach, which Superintendent Murphy estimated will cost $22K – $30K, was a good idea. School Board member Jennifer Welliver (Berryville) said that she would like to see a closer alignment between CCPS courses and LFCC so that students can have as much flexibility as possible as they begin to think about career paths.

“All kids have to take the core classes anyway,” Welliver pointed out. Welliver said that if all of CCPS’s core classes, including English, math and history, could be dual enrollment certified then many more students could graduate with both a high school diploma as a college certificate.

Several citizens spoke at last night’s meeting. A common theme was a concern over what they see as a lack of agriculture support in the school system.

Supervisor Barbara Byrd (Russell) said that she believes that the importance of farmers is only going to increase as more and more people populate the earth. Byrd pointed out that Clarke County is third in Virginia’s horse business and that she was sorry to see that the horse program was not included in this year’s CCHS course catalog.

“Farmers are being asked to support an ever increasing world population,” Byrd said. “What are we doing to encourage our 4-H club and Future Farmers of America to pursue the agriculture business?”

White Post farmer Chris Bates echoed Byrd’s sentiment asking why there are only 21 students in the CCHS agriculture certificate program given the County’s active farming community.

“I would say that we’ve made progress in the agriculture program in the last year or so but we still have only 21 people who are completing an agricultural production certificate. Assuming that they’re all seniors that means we are reaching less than 10% of the class in a county that is only four present urban to begin with.”

“We’re not reaching everyone that we need to now and we have to make plans for how we’re going to grow and expand this program” Bates said. “The program as it is now is not an end-all and it is not adequate for the County. LFCC can’t help us with this because they don’t have an agriculture program. This is one of the things that we have to do in Clarke County ourselves.”

Dr. Jackson explained that two specific vocational courses not on this year’s master schedule, small engine repair and an equine management class are still being offered, but on an every-other-year basis.

“We’re not giving up on equine management,” Jackson reassured citizens.

Now that it has received staff input on both vocational and advanced education curriculums, the Clarke County School Board will take up just what it intends to do with the information at its October 5th goal planning session.


  1. If I had my druthers, we’d drop the AP and IB curriculum completely, and let the kids who are capable utilize the dual enrollment option. AP and IB programs prepare the students for college but they are costly to maintain. Dual enrollment allows students to take college level courses for one-third of the regular cost. Colleges want students that can handle college level work. What better way to experience it?

    • That’s absurd RW. If a family could not afford $89 for each 3 credit LFCC course then their capable kids get no chance at all for college or college prep courses in HS as they would with IB/AP. One LFCC course per semester = $178/year per student. Got two kids in HS? …do the math.

      Additionally, I believe you have no idea of the incremental cost of IB or AP to the school system. It’s negligible. It does not require more teachers. It does not require more training. It requires specific training for the program, but teachers should always be given educational training, IB/AP or otherwise. It’s not an additional expense and, the CCEF pays a great deal of it.

      For our kids’ sake, I sincerely hope that you do not get your “druthers”.

      • Why wouldn’t the expense of dual enrollment at LFCC be a big net savings for any in-state student. A C in the course GUARANTEES college credit that will transfer, unlike either the IB or AP program? I’ve done the math, as have many other families of recent CCHS graduates who have attended Tech with enough credits to enroll as a sophomore.

        Further, the dual enrollment program requires that the teachers have a master’s degree in the field of the course they are teaching. I believe this to be a far better criteria for excellence in my child’s education than attending a week-long AP summer institute or spending a couple of days in New Mexico at an IB training class.

        • I want to say this as carefully as i possibly can so as not to be misunderstood…

          I agree!

        • Travis Goodwin says:

          I believe you have to have a Master’s degree to teach an IB class, yes? So…’twould seem that “a couple of days in New Mexico at an IB training class” would be sufficient to brush up on the latest techniques and approaches in the IB curriculum.

          • CollegeKnowledge says:

            No, there is no requirement for a teacher to have a Master’s Degree to teach an IB class. In fact, many of the IB teachers at the high school do not have Master’s Degrees.

          • In the meeting it was stated that not only does an IB teacher have to have a masters degree, but they have to have a masters in the IB area in which they are teaching….

          • Either you did not hear correctly, or someone stated incorrectly. As CollegeKnowledge stated above, “many of the IB teachers at the high school do not have Master’s Degrees.”

            Further, from

            How to Become an IB Teacher
            Obtain your regular subject area and teaching certifications. You will not be able to teach IB courses if you are not certified in your original subject area. IB courses are taught by subject only–so you don’t have to worry about calculus if you are an English teacher.
            Identify IB programs in your school district. Before getting certified to teach IB courses, you want to have a list of programs ready. If you are able to teach IB, you need to do it at a school that has an IB program.
            Complete the IB teacher training courses. Depending on your school district and school, there are teacher training courses offered for those who want to teach IB courses.
            Request an IB mentor. These are veteran teachers–those who are well-versed in IB and can assist you in all things pertaining to the program.
            Attend as many local, national and international trainings and network opportunities as possible. There is also an IB magazine subscription that contains assistance and topics relevant to those who teach these courses.

          • Further, from the International Baccalaureate Organization website


            Rules for IB World Schools: Diploma Programme

            Article 5: Responsibilities of schools

            5.2 Schools are responsible for the quality of teaching of the Diploma Programme, and they undertake to hold the IB Organization harmless with regard to any legal action taken by candidates or their legal guardians as a result of any shortcomings.

            5.7 Schools must ensure that teachers of the Diploma Programme are knowledgeable about the curriculum and assessment requirements set out in the Diploma Programme guides and supporting materials. To this end, it is the school’s responsibility to obtain all relevant up-to-date Diploma Programme guides and supporting materials from the IB Organization and to provide opportunities for teachers of the Diploma Programme to attend training workshops that have been approved by the IB Organization.

            Nothing concerning Master’s certification. Bottom line: The Dual Enrollment program has more stringent requirements for teacher degree status, i e. preparation, and much better opportunities for earning college credit to Virginia schools than does the IB program. This in no way indicts IB has inferior; it is simply a statement that confirms what many believe – Dual Enrollment is a better choice for Clarke County High School than either IB or AP.

          • Okay, I’m slapping my head.

            Do Bob and I agree on something?

            It must be snowing outside!! 😉

          • Absolutely, that was the Dual Enrollment of which they were speaking. 🙂

          • CollegeKnowledge says:

            If those statements were made, it would appear they are not correct.

            The IB publishes several documents which serve as guidance and regulation documentation for IB World Schools, such as the high school. This link will take you to the list of documents:


            All IB regulations have recently been revised and the following information is taken from the new documents, published in 2010 and 2011.

            • From the document Programme standards and practices for use from 1 January 2011: page 20, Standard B2: Resources and support
            2. The school provides qualified staff to implement the programme(s).
            3. The school ensures that teachers and administrators receive IB-recognized professional development.

            • From the document Guide to school authorization: Diploma Programme: page 8, Mandatory teacher professional development
            – All Diploma Programme subject teachers must attend IB category 1 workshops in their subject.

            • From the document Guide to school authorization: Diploma Programme: page 11, Standard B2: Resources and support
            2. The school provides qualified staff to implement the programme(s).
            3. The school ensures that teachers and administrators receive IB-recognized professional development.

            • From the document Rules for IB World schools: Diploma Programme: page 2, Article 5: Responsibilities of schools
            5.7 Schools must ensure that teachers of the Diploma Programme are knowledgeable about the curriculum and assessment requirements set out in the Diploma Programme guides and supporting materials. To this end, it is the school’s responsibility to ensure access for teachers to all relevant, up-to-date Diploma Programme guides and supporting materials from the IB Organization and to provide opportunities to attend training workshops that have been approved by the IB Organization.

            • From the document General regulations: Diploma Programme: page 1, Article 2: Role and responsibilities of schools
            2.5 Because the IB Organization is not a teaching institution and does not provide teaching services to candidates, the Diploma Programme is implemented and taught by IB World Schools. The schools are entirely independent from the IB Organization and are solely responsible for the implementation and quality of teaching of the Diploma Programme.

            There is neither guidance nor regulation published by the IB concerning teacher qualifications to teach IB courses, so the idea that IB teachers have to have Master’s degrees in the area in which they are teaching is entirely erroneous.

          • Fly on the wall says:

            Teachers who teach the dual-enrollment classes must have a Master’s degree. Thus, since many IB classes are also dual-enrollment ones, it’s easy to get confused.

      • But, Pro-Ed, Virtual Virgina , offering over 38 different AP courses and 5 different languages( in four stages) and a top-notch staff is FREE to our kids!

        The current SB doesn’t promote this because they are mandated to pick up the tab. So, now that the word is out….why not consider this as an option?

        • Did you look at the tuition rates charged by Virtual Virginia? It’s $375 per student, per course times the local composite index!! Two courses per year, per student = … you do the math?

          You’re advocating some big bucks here Sunny. Free to our kids does not equate to free to the school district by any stretch. This would be far more than is spent now.

          • CollegeKnowledge says:

            In fact, there are no Virtual Virginia tuition charges for Virginia public school students participating in the Early College Scholars program. All tuition charges are paid directly by the Virginia Department of Education to the Virtual Virginia program, and the school district is not charged any tuition fees. It is only tuition fees for non ECS students that are paid to the VDOE by the school district. The Early College Scholars program is the Virginia Education for a Lifetime initiative, and participation in this encourages high school students to take college level courses while still at high school. Additionally, there are no tuition charges for world language, core, and elective courses for Virginia public school students.

            The full details of the Virtual Virginia program and the advantages of being part of the Early College Scholars program can be found here:


            If CCPS encouraged high school students to join the ECS program, it would find that all the Virtual Virginia tuition fees for these students would be paid by the VDOE.

          • White Post Voter says:

            Having read the Virtual Virginia FAQs, it would seem to me that those students who would most likely choose to take AP courses on line would also choose to join the Early College Scholars program. Therefore, the cost to the district would be negligible.

          • Quote from Virtual Virginia site link you post:

            “Early College Scholar students must have at least a “B” average, be pursuing an Advanced Studies Diploma, and be on course to complete a minimum of 15 college credit hours (through AP, IB, Cambridge, or dual enrollment courses) by graduation.”

            That’s a pretty limited bunch. The school district would have to pay tuition for the rest.

          • “That’s a pretty limited bunch” As well it should be Pro-Ed. The folks at VDOE aren’t stupid. They’re not going to foot the bill for EVERYONE.

            What business does an average kid ( C student) have in an AP class?

            It is a “closed” selective program, as well it should be.

            Robina’s idea of a “closed” IB program is good as well. Pre-IB introduction( projects, research) is also necessary in the middle school to attract those best qualified for the 20 spots she proposes.

            The ECS program is also a contractual agreement between the student, parents and the VDOE. Not be be taken lightly and not for every kid. Niether is IB.

          • While I don’t entirely disagree, you do realize that this will make the fans of the Challenge Index and followers of Jay Mathews go bananas, don’t you?

          • Right … Wait till you see the wars break out around how the “20 elite” are selected. What would you do if your kid were # 21 and was denied the opportunity to take any IB, AP, or dual enrollment courses because the family can not afford the tuition?

            Speak about a divisive! That one’s guaranteed to explode like a powder keg.

    • the reason most classes are able to offer dual enrollment credit is because the ap/ib curriculm matches the college course to which credit is being offered. I don’t think lfcc would allow us to dual enroll a regular class even if the teacher had a masters.

  2. Roscoe Evans says:

    Why stop at cutting AP and IB, RW?

    Why not: 1) Contract with Winchester and Frederick County to educate the Clarke County elementary school population; 2) Contract with LFCC and Shenandoah U to educate the Clarke County High School population, and 3) Contract with Clarke County horse farmers to teach the Johnson Williams student population how to shovel, nail, and bale?

    It’s clear that there is a sizeable portion of the electorate that does not care much about educating other people’s children, or being taxed for that nicety. Others want those little tykes educated just enough to meet the labor needs of an agricultural economy.

    This solution covers all educational bases, and solves problems which Clarke County seems too small to resolve on its own. And it’s likely to be a real money saver, too.

    • Why not? It seems that’s the road the BOS wants to take anyway. Educating our kids is the last thing on their minds. Keeping the taxes on the landed gentry too low is first in their book.

  3. Tony Parrott says:

    So what kind of “Farming” does Chris Bates do? I know we have a lot of open space and people who own horses but are they really “farmers”. I know some real farmers (beef, dairy, produce, etc) that would disagree with the concept of a “horse farmer”.

    • I grew up working on a farm and share your aversion to “horse farming” however it is a legitimate industry as several large horse operations in the county can attest to. That being said I’m not sure they represent a large opportunity for jobs.

      The bottom line is that somewhere along the way, “All Children will Learn at High Levels of Achievement!” was usurped and mutated into meaning all kids will be groomed for college. It stems from a point of view that says it is degrading to study a trade to become a plumber or an electrician or a mechanic. We need to break free from that mindset and embrace the fact that not all children should be funneled through college.

      As it stands now in the county there are no real programs for learning a trade. We could partner with Frederick County whose vo-tech school is just up Route-7. However that would require paying Frederick County which most people in our school system find unacceptable even though we, as a county, are unable to provide it on our own.

      We need to provide real opportunities to students because the economy they will enter is a far different beast then the one the people making the decisions on curriculum ever had to deal with.

      • Because I Care says:

        Once the new high school is complete, and DG Cooley goes into the old high school, wouldn’t it be great to convert a school into a vo-tech center? All in favor, say aye.

      • Nancy Martin says:

        Ouch. The truth hurts. Why do we value one honest, paying, demanding profession over another? The message that Clake County is ACTIVELY and CURRENTLY sending to its students is that you are valued only if you wear a white collar rather than a blue. Believe, the kids hear this loud and clear. It is demeaning, elitist, shortsighted and plain unserving of an upcoming generation. A college degree does not guarantee anyone of a living wage in today’s market any more than than spell check garentees you a well delivered editorial response. 😉
        Since when are CEO’s and sold out politicians any better than farmers and hairdressers? (to borrow a phrase) I know with whom I’d trust my money…
        Personally, I’m sending my kid to college to keep him out of a failing job market and to learn to learn on his own. I am thankful to our public school system that he/we have that option…
        I am talso thankful to MY parents that they insured I would have the ability to send my child to college by recognizing and supporting my education.
        That’s our job.
        And I love Clarke County. This discussion is NOT happening in Loudoun or Frederick… Can we protect our beautiful county AND serve its future, our kids (and grandkids)?

    • Tony –

      I feel that I need to enlighten you on some aspects of the horse industry in both Clarke County and Virginia. (Taking off my SB hat, I am also a board member of the Virginia Horse Council).

      However, first of all, I would like to point out that Chris Bates is a bona-fide cattle farmer who also makes a lot of hay. He has a very few horses as well, that he uses to go around his fields to inspect his cattle. He is an officer of the Clarke County Farm Bureau.

      For your personal information, the horse industry in Virginia is the 6th largest industry in the Commonwealth. Clarke County does even better, as it is in THIRD place in the Commonwealth. We have well in excess of 8,000 horses in our very small county, which has an ideal climate, exceptional grass and an excellent land conservation program.

      As a member of the Farm Bureau myself, I happen to know MANY “real” farmers, who make a lot of money supplying the high quality horse hay for horse owners, board horses and otherwise profit from the (according to you) “fake” farmers who raise horses. None of the farmers I know would disparage the horse industry in the county as you have just done.

      Trying to introduce the “Them vs. Us” propaganda right now when we all need to be pulling together is not worthy of you.

      Shame on you, Tony!


      • “Pull together” she says, as she drives the anvil a bit deeper!

        And your point regarding allowing pasturing/boarding horses to qualify for 1/40th the tax rate of other land that is not used for cash crops is …?

      • Tony Parrott says:

        Thanks for the enlightenment. Every article I have seen on Chris Bates says he is a “local horse farmer”. Thank you for the clarification.
        I do believe there is a difference between a farmer (someone who grows food), horse industry (boarding, racing, breeding) and someone who just owns horses; especially when it comes to taxes. I own 2 goats, 5 chickens and some ducks but I wouldn’t call myself a farmer.

      • Longtime Berryville resident says:

        Thank you Robina for sharing information about horses and I hope CCHS will offer equine management classes in the future. Some students thrive from experiential hands-on learning. There is dignity in physical labor. Goerge Washington at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson at Monticello did farming on their properties. They were highly intelleigent and also did land surveying work. I know a criminal justice college professor in Massachusetts who is quite a skilled carpenter. My brilliant college philosophy professor was also a commercial fisherman, with his own boat.

  4. Roscoe Evans says:

    You’re correct for many reasons, James, though as a matter of fact nobody is going to learn enough to meet his lifetime needs with just a high school/vocational school education. Hopefully, our schools will teach our students 1) how to do research on their own, and continue to learn, while 2) maintaining and nurturing their naturally high levels of curiosity. I don’t see that Clarke’s BOS/BOE really care about either of those goals, and this fascination with earning college “credits” in high school, to save on the cost of going to college, says it all to me. “Education” as a means of putting in time in school and checking off lists of items to learn and acquiring credentials to get a job … well, fine. But if that’s all there is to it, we’ll never learn anything new, or progress as a society.

    Tony, all you need to be a “farmer” in the Clarke County sense of the vocation is 5+ acres of land and access to a creative tax accountant. I knew one guy who claimed that status on the basis of a single row of ancient apple trees. Yet the Clarke Agricultural Cult is willing to exclude Georgetown University and the Salvation Army from the region on the claim that there existence here would be inimical to agricultural values. What!! It won’t take much for these guys to further delimit education on the same claim, when all they really care about is the out-of-pocket costs of being responsible citizens, which they so far have avoided.

    Sorry, but I find every one of these articles about education in Clarke to be, ultimately, discouraging. Even when they claim “positive” news.

  5. James, I applaud your point of view with respect to college vs. the trades. That being said some history needs to be reviewed. Clarke pulled out of the old Dowell J. Howard Vocational School during the time that Dennis Kellison was the superintendent. At the time studies were done that found that approx. 80% of those graduating from the two-year program at Dowell J. never worked in the field that they studied. Further in course work such as cosmetology it would have been cheaper to send a student to the Virginia College of Beauty Culture than for them to study at the vocational school. This time was also before the current SOL testing program, and the Virginia BOE was adamant in their support of Tech Prep 2×2; that is the final two years of high school paired with two years of study at Lord Fairfax CC, for example, was the ideal preparation for the workplace.

    After that there was some serious efforts, especially on the part of Ed Novak, to place CCHS students into apprenticeship-type programs at local businesses and industries.

    Both programs died for various reasons, such as lack of funds, tepid support by the Smalley regime, the major change in emphasis to standards-based k-12 public ed at the state level – particularly by the Allen administration, …

    I with you on the value of secondary education’s role in support of the trades, but it will be both a tough and expensive nut to crack.

  6. On a sidenote, anybody that wants to see a successful melding of IB and the trades need look no further than Salem High School, near Roanoke.

    • Tony Parrott says:

      Salem school district also has a $39 to $42 million budget (depending on where you look) and spends over $10k per child on education. It’s about $1k more than we spend. So we need money to make it work.
      Also Salem City has $90 million budget.

  7. I totally understand not all of us are cut from the same cloth, I understand that farming is not high on everyone’s priority list, and I understand that college is not high on everyone’s priority list. What I don’t understand is why so many people try to cover ignorance with disdain. For the good of all of the children in this community, a varied curriculum should be provided. Very few children only take advantage of one area in our high school. This afternoon I met with my son’s IB English teacher, walked outside to watch him practice football, and then came home. Upon his arrival home he asked me to look at the Powerpoint presentation he had created. In what class, one may ask? Agriculture. On what subject one may ask? Not “shoveling, nailing, and bailing”, but Biotechnology. I’m pretty sure being taught to do a Poerpoint on Biotechnology will surpass “just enuf to meet the labor needs of an agricultural economy”.

    Agricultural education should not be degraded to support IB studies, Chorus, Football or any other class or activity. They are all important in their own way. Do we provide Chorus classes believing all of the students will become professional singers, do we provide Art believing all of the students will become Picasso? No we provide many classes to encourage appreciation of areas our students may otherwise not learn. Many of the students in Agriculture may not go on to be employed in the Ag Industry; however, hopefully they will appreciate what Agriculture means to our world, learn some accounting, computer, and life skills from the extensive SAE project each participates in and become educated consumers. Before downgrading the high school Ag program, you should find out how truly extensive it is.

    I am a mother, a professional, a volunteer in our community, and a farmer. I am constantly studying genetic and nutrition to provide a better grade of animal, keeping track of our economy for both controlling
    expenses and income, and studying veterinarian practices to cut my expenses and provide a humane setting for my animals.

    Please stop insulting us as a group, there may be a few farmers who think the way you indicate, but they are a few. And, it would be wise to realize that there must be even less people in this county who degrade Agriculture or it would not be such an Agricultural friendly community. There is room for both Ag, IB/AP courses, Chorus, Band, and Sports in our school system. We should work together to keep this going and to expand it when needed, not demean other areas to showcase one.