Perry High students to take ag classes at W-G

Brandon L. Summers, Editor

Perry High School students will have the chance to take agriculture classes and even join the FFA through an agreement with Woodward-Granger Community School District.

"We haven't had an agriculture program since I've been here, and that's been 22 years," Dan Marburger, PHS principal, said. "We still have kids with some interest, so Woodward-Granger has graciously offered that our kids can join their ag classes and their FFA program."

PHS students have had access to outside agriculture courses before.

"DMACC used to offer some agricultural classes when they came in, and our kids were able to take those, but those have gone away," Marburger said.

There is not enough interest for PHS to offer its own agriculture program, Marburger said.

"I think we're a community that we're getting fewer and fewer farmers," he said. "The kids that have interest in it are very loyal and really want to do a good job in ag. We just don't have enough of them to make a program."

He added, "We are actually looking at trying to add an ag science class, to gauge the interest of the students."

The issue is cost.

"We have to look at the cost of adding a program, or adding a teacher possibly, or if we had a teacher with time, and right now we're busting at the seems here at the high school, so we don't have any teacher time we can add, against trying to do what's best for kids," Marburger said. "I'm glad this option is available. It meets the needs of our kids."

Woodward-Granger has several ag classes beneficial to PHS students.

"I think all of them are in the ag science area," Marburger said. "There's also maybe an ag business class those kids can take."

So far, three PHS students have expressed interest in the courses.

"I think that will pick up some," Marburger said. "I think we may have as many as five to eight that might have an opportunity to take those classes."

There is possibly only one downside.

"It will cause some scheduling difficulties with those kids, just because of travel time," Marburger said. "But we've been able to work it out in the past."

Lynn Ubben, Perry CSD superintendent, applauded the sharing agreement between schools.

"It's good to have multiple opportunities for kids," she said. "As districts become smaller and more specialized across the state, we need to share more programs. We can't be everything to everybody, but we certainly can help each other out."

PHS students will be able to start taking agriculture classes at Woodward-Granger with the start of the second semester, Marbuger said.

"The details have just got to be worked out on what they're going to charge us," he said, "and if it will fit into their schedule."