As Dothan school officials prepare to unveil their strategic plan for excellence in about 4 months. They're hoping to take some of the lessons learned from a recent visit to a school system in Tennessee, and incorporate them in their plan.
After spending a day touring three high school in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee, school officials here in Dothan are excited about getting to work on their plan for the future.
"Dothan is working hard in the planning stages and I think we need to go back and look at what were' doing and what we're planning."
During their visit they were exposed to several career academy programs where students are learning how to prepare for college or to begin working after high school. Programs Dothan school officials say are vital to any community's economic growth.
"Research has proven that career academies are a great way of doing that."
"Academy programs are an idea that school officials in Dothan have been kicking around for quite some time; and after seeing the success that academies have had here in Chattanooga, school officials say academy programs are definitely a must for Dothan City Schools to move forward."
"There's so much that academies offer to students who don't have long range plans for college, while at the same time offering much to those who do plan to attend college."
School officials are also interested in possibly creating a ninth grade academy.
"I think that's a great idea because the ninth grade academy gets kids ready for high school more so than how we're doing right now, where they're bundled all in together. I like separating them a little bit."
And in order for these ideas to work, some school officials say Dothan’s two high schools must merge together.
"High schools merging together could possibly benefit by offering more courses, perhaps more than one math course that may only be offered one time during the day."
"It's a good idea because of the bussing issue because it is not an issue and transportation is not an issue."
But consolidation is not the only option. School officials say they are also looking at the feasibility of offering academy programs at both high schools.