High School Special Programs

  • The high school administration realizes that an effective educational program is one that provides opportunities for student learning both within the classroom and beyond the traditional classroom and school day. These expanded opportunities are viewed as educational options to supplement the regular program.

Course Book High Special Programs

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    A+ Program

    The Blue Springs A+ program encourages students to stay in school, make career plans, tutor younger students, and graduate with the skills and knowledge required for career success or further education. If students meet the criteria established below, as well as any additional criteria that may be established by the state in the future, and the Missouri General Assembly continues to fund the program, students may be eligible for two years of tuition scholarship to a Missouri community college or vocational school.

    An A+ student must:

    • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • Complete and sign an A+ School Agreement and it must be turned into the A+ office
    • Attend an A+ school for three consecutive years prior to graduation (grades 10-12)
    • Score Advanced or Proficient on the Algebra I EOC (End of Course) exam, or higher level DESE approved EOC in the field of mathematics. Students may also establish eligibility with a qualifying score on the math component of the ACT
    • Graduate with an unweighted cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
    • Graduate with a 95 percent cumulative attendance record for grades 9-12
    • Perform 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring to other students in the Blue Springs School District under the supervision of a certified teacher. Tutoring must have prior approval from the A+ Coordinator.
    • Maintain a record of good citizenship and avoid the use of alcohol and unlawful drugs
    • Apply for non-payback scholarships by completing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
    • Attend a Missouri community college or postsecondary vocational/technical school on a full-time basis and maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher

    How do you become an A+ student?

    It is easy to become part of the A+ Schools Program. Simply read the citizen guidelines and complete the Blue Springs R-IV Schools Program Agreement. As long as you meet all the requirements, you are on track for the A+ scholarship. It is recommended that students sign up early in their high school careers. This allows students time to complete the tutoring portion of the A+ requirements and receive college and career information. It also allows time for the A+ coordinator to monitor the students’ GPA and attendance.

    It is recommended that students sign up even if they think they are going to a four-year college or not going to college at all. The Blue Springs A+ Schools Program is an opportunity for students to access additional education after high school; it does not obligate them to use the A+ tuition reimbursement nor will participating in the A+ program restrict a student’s choice of college.

    What are the Benefits of Being an A+ Student?

    • A student graduating with A+ status may be eligible for two years of tuition grants to attend any public Missouri community college or vocational/technical school as a full-time student. An A+ student may be eligible for scholarships from four-year colleges and universities.
    • The tuition grants may be available to the A+ student up to four years after high school graduation.
    • Students graduating from a two-year school may be eligible for transfer scholarships to four-year colleges and universities.

    For additional information about the Blue Springs A+ Schools Program, contact the A+ coordinator at your high school.

    Advanced Placement

    The Advanced Placement (AP) Program is a nationwide program of college level courses and exams for secondary school students. AP courses provide students a rigorous, college level curriculum. The Blue Springs R-IV School District offers AP courses in the following areas:

    • AP Biology
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Calculus BC
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP Computer Science Principles
    • AP Comuter Science A/PLTW
    • AP English Language
    • AP English Literature
    • AP Environmental Science
    • AP European History
    • AP Government
    • AP Music Theory
    • AP Physics I
    • AP Physics C
    • AP Psychology
    • AP Spanish
    • AP United States History

    In addition to the high school credit received for the course, AP students prepare to take the Advanced Placement examination in May on the National test date. Almost all colleges and universities in the United States recognize the scores received on the AP exams and give credit accordingly. However, students must realize that all colleges do not follow the same procedures upon receipt of Advanced Placement examination grades. Many colleges grant college credit and placement automatically for qualifying work on the examinations; some grant placement credit only. BEFORE TAKING AN AP COURSE, THE STUDENT IS ADVISED TO CONTACT THE COLLEGE HE/SHE PLANS TO ATTEND CONCERNING THE STATUS OF AP COURSES AT THAT SCHOOL. Additional information can be found on the College Board website – www.collegeboard.com. While making a decision regarding an AP course, consider the following four points:

    1. Prerequisites and/or recommendations for student participating in individual AP course descriptions. If you do not currently meet the AP prerequisites and desire to make the commitment to participate in an AP class, please see your counselor for additional options.
    2. Students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses are expected to take the AP Exam in the appropriate subject area. There is a fee of approximately $93.00 (subject to change) to take each exam. A fee reduction is available for students who qualify based on family income.
    3. Students who excel in a field of study for which an AP course is not offered are encouraged to prepare for and take the appropriate AP exam under the guidance of a faculty member. Contact the Guidance Office for more information.
    4. Summer assignments may be provided to students in preparation for the rigors of these courses. If an AP class has summer assignments, they may be found on the school’s website.

    Articulated Credit

    Articulated credit is awarded when a student earns college credit after completing a state-approved occupational program or course that addresses the same competencies as its “articulated” college program or course. College credit is transcribed after the student has completed 15 credit hours at the Metropolitan Community Colleges. The student has up to two years to benefit from credit held in “escrow.”

    At the Metropolitan Community Colleges, articulated credit is usually limited to Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees, although many colleges and universities are accepting transfer of these credits. To transfer a credit to a four-year degree program, articulated credit must be a part of a completed AAS degree program. The student does not pay any college tuition or fees for the articulated credit.

    Articulated credit is available for the following Blue Springs programs if all guidelines are met:

    • College Accounting (for those students that do not take it for dual credit)
    • Business Principles (for those students that do not take it for dual credit)
    • Advanced Marketing or College Marketing (for those students that do not take it for dual credit)
    • Various Career Technical Programs at CTC and Summit Tech (see individual course descriptions)

    The student does not need to have a given GPA, test score or demonstrated proficiency to enroll in the articulated course. The students must, however, demonstrate 80% mastery upon completion of the course or program in order to earn credit. No honor point is given for courses in which articulated credit is awarded.

    Articulated credit is available for some of the agriculture classes through North Central Missouri College.

    Counseling and Guidance Services

    The Guidance and Counseling Program is an integral part of the total education program. Based on individual, family, school and community needs, the guidance program is delivered through the guidance curriculum, individual planning system, responsive services, and system support.

    The Guidance and Counseling Program is responsible for assisting all students in developing:

    • The knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of self and others.
    • The skills necessary for effective career exploration and planning.
    • The competencies needed for educational and vocational development.

    The Guidance and Counseling Program provides responsive services designed to aid individuals in resolving problems which prevent their healthy development or which require remedial attention. It provides a systematic plan to help each student monitor and direct his/her own educational, vocational, and personal development. Finally, the Guidance and Counseling Program includes system support activities designed to establish, maintain, and enhance the total program.

    Guidance and counseling services are available in grades 9-12. There are full-time counselors in the high schools and freshman center Counseling Offices to assist students with their academic, career, and personal-social interests and concerns. In addition to counseling, resources are available concerning careers, colleges, and scholarships. Each student is encouraged to visit with his/her counselor. As part of the continuing guidance services offered to students upon graduation, exit surveys and one-year and five-year follow-up surveys are conducted. Information gathered includes documentation of graduate plans for the future. Surveys also provide information relative to graduates continuing the paths they initially planned. All surveys collect information on the quality of education provided and how helpful it was in preparing graduates for further education and careers.

    Dual Credit

    Blue Springs high schools offer several dual credit courses through area colleges. Dual credit may be earned in high school and college if the student meets enrollment guidelines as established by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE). Please visit http://www.dhe.mo.gov/cbhe for a complete description of eligibility guidelines. The student must apply to the college, be accepted, and pay a reduced fee for college credit to be awarded. An overall GPA required will depend on the individual college offering the dual credit. In addition, a specific ACT score may be required or another entrance test score. For each course, the same course objectives are taught in the high school setting as in the college setting. Upon satisfactory completion of the course, the student may request that a transcript verifying the credit earned be sent to colleges of the student’s choice. College credit courses are listed in the course description section.

    **Students must check with the college or university they are planning on attending regarding transferability.

    • Drury / www.drury.edu/dualcredit
    • MCC-Metropolitan Community College/BR / www.mcckc.edu
    • MSU-Missouri State University / www.dualcredit.missouristate.edu
    • UCM-University of Central Missouri / www.ucmo.edu/dualcredit
    • UMKC-University of Missouri-Kansas City / www.umkc.edu/hscp

    Dual credit courses are guided more by the university with dates pertaining to enrollment, drops and withdrawals. The BSSD adheres to these dates to keep in good standing with the universities and cannot make exceptions.

    Early Release - Class of 2008 Waiver of 8th Semester

    As per Missouri State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education graduation requirements, students are expected to complete eight (8) semesters of high school. If a student, for sound educational and vocational reasons, wishes to graduate from high school in less time than eight semesters may request a waiver of this policy. The student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) will consult with his/her high school counselor to develop a Personalized Plan of Study. A request for early graduation must be a planned part of a student’s educational program. The deadline for the early release application is November 1st. Applications must be provided and submitted through your high school counselor. Consider the following when applying for early release:

    • Student’s eligibility to receive Social Security benefits may be affected by an early release, since the student may no longer be considered a full-time student.
    • Students enrolled in work release programs such as Marketing and/or Business Principles are ineligible for early release.
    • Students leaving after the seventh semester may be eligible to receive their high school diploma with their graduating class. Graduating seniors who choose not to participate in the graduation ceremony may pick up their diplomas in the high school principal’s office on the first school business day following the graduation ceremony.
    • Students leaving after the seventh semester will not be eligible for a class ranking for the 8th
    • Students may not participate in activities regulated by the Missouri State High School Activities Association unless enrolled in 6 credit-earning classes and passing.
    • Students who have been approved for full release and partial release options are eligible for local scholarships unless a specific scholarship would indicate the student is not eligible.
    • It is the student’s responsibility to stay in touch with the school in regard to important semester events (i.e. graduation rehearsal).
    • Students and parents may want to check with their health and auto insurance company concerning coverage since the student may not be considered full time.
    • A+ eligibility may be affected. Students and parents should consult with the A+ Coordinator in their building.
    • All students must have taken the required End-Of-Course Assessments (English II, Biology, Government, and Algebra I).

    All students must have taken the appropriate college/career planning assessment (WorkKeys, ASVAB, ACT, or SAT).

    MCC-Blue River's Trailblazer Collegiate Academy

    Program Overview

    Are you a highly motivated high school student looking to reach your full academic potential? The Trailblazer Collegiate Academy will challenge you to complete your Associate’s degree at the same time you’re earning your high school diploma. It’s challenging. It’s fun. And it will make your investment in higher education more affordable.

    Program Benefits

    • Curbs the rising costs of higher education
    • Puts students on a fast track to a college degree
    • Exposes students to a wider range of advanced-level classes
    • Challenges students to push themselves further academically

    Admissions Process

    • Attend an Information Session held at your high school or on the MCC-Blue River campus to learn more and obtain a Trailblazer Collegiate Academy Application packet.
    • Apply to become an MCC student at http://www.mcckc.edu/apply-now/Application, then complete the Trailblazer Collegiate Academy Application packet.
    • Take the ACT or the Accuplacer Placement test. Scores for Reading and English will be used for acceptance into program. Students must be able to read and write at college level. Students must have a minimum of 3.00 GPA.

    Attend a parent/guardian information session on the MCC-Blue River campus and meet faculty and staff assisting with the program.

    Additional Information

    Visit MCCKC's website via the link: http://www.mcckc.edu/high-school-info/collegiate-academy/

    Call 816.604.6504 to speak with a representative.

    MCC Blue River is located at:
    20301 E. 78 Hwy
    Independence, MO 64057

    **Students must check with the college or university they are planning on attending regarding transferability.

    Supportive Services

    In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Blue Springs School District provides a continuum of special education services for eligible students. Students are determined eligible under IDEA in the following disability categories:

    Autism
    Deaf/Blindness
    Emotional Disturbance
    Hearing Impairment and Deafness
    Intellectual Disability
    Multiple Disabilities
    Orthopedic Impairment
    Other Health Impairment
    Specific Learning Disabilities
    Speech and/or Language Impairment
    Traumatic Brain Injury
    Visual Impairment/Blind
    Young Child with a Developmental Delay


    Special education services are documented in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Course enrollment may be dependent upon the student’s special education service needs. Please contact your student’s counselor, special education case manager, or special education process coordinator with questions regarding enrollment and special education services.