Guy Ellis

A gift of 19 desktop computers to the Grove High School from GEFFE (Grove Educational Foundation For Excellence) is at the heart of a new computer lab set to debut this school year for GHS students.

The new computer lab, located in a refurbished room just off the commons area designed specifically for the units, will house 25 machines in all as GHS officials purchased an additional six computers to add to the mix.

“The computers were purchased with money that was collected at the GEFFE banquet,” said GHS Principal Renae Dozier.

The acquisition of the computers was one step in a series of events that made the new lab possible.

“Dale Medders, he’s one of our computer tech people, he came in and made an outline of how the room needed to be set-up and how it needed to be wired,” said Dozier. “He and Dave Roberts got the computers ordered after figuring out the specs that we needed.

“The maintenance guys came in and did the electrical wiring for it,” Dozier continued. “Mr. (Ed) Sturgis (GHS Assistant Principal) and his wife came in and painted the room this weekend. The maintenance guys have built all the desks and we’re putting those in Wednesday.”

The school has specific plans, and needs, for the new facility. One new opportunity is a means for students to make up credits and classes that, for one reason or another, they have missed.

“In the evenings were going to be opening up a Credit Recovery Program where students who fall behind can come in at night and take classes online,” Dozier said. “The system is called Nova Net and it’s an online curriculum. There will be a certified teacher in the room to help them through the process and the student can get that credit made up in the evening.”

A benefit of the program is that it provides a viable option to the alternative academy for students who are lacking credit hours for graduation.

“It’s kind of an in-between for high school and alternative ed,” said Dozier. “If they (students) get very far behind in high school there’s not a current system to make up those credits.

“There’s seven periods in a day,” Dozier explained. “You have to have 24 hours to graduate and you can earn 28 if you pass every class for four years. So students have a four credit leeway, but sometimes that four credits isn’t enough. So, with our new program, if they still need that one or two more credits they can come in at night class versus going to alternative school.

“A student going to alternative school- there are a lot of reasons- but one of the biggest reasons is being behind on credits,” said Dozier.

“Outside of Tulsa and Oklahoma City not many school districts get the opportunity to have this kind of program without it being a full-fledged alternative program,” said Sturgis.

The new lab will also see work in helping the school meet new guidelines dictating that all state and federally mandated student testing be performed online.

“That’s approximately 180-200 students having to test in several different subject areas,” Dozier said. “So we had to have another source available for us to do that and this lab is going to help dramatically. Instead of having just the two computer classrooms and having to boot those teachers and students out of their room for an extended period of time, we’ve got this new one and we can have students testing in here and not disturbing other classes.”

The new testing rules are a far cry from the days of the number two pencil and filling in circles on punch cards. But as the education process moves forward, along with the society it serves, the Grove school system is, in many ways, keeping good pace with the curve.