Highlands High School is one of about 120 school districts across the state participating in Project 720. Project 720 is named for the number of days a student spends in high school from the start of 9th grade to the end of 12th grade.
Project 720 is a state-funded initiative that is working to help transform Pennsylvania's high schools to that every student succeeds. The 120 school districts participating in Project 720 represent about 25 percent of the school districts across the states. These districts, including Highlands, are leading the way in making high school curriculum mre challenging as we all work to improve the learning environment.
A major focus of Project 720 is for every student to be successful in high school and for every student to graduate. The district is trying to achieve this goal by creating a more rigorous course of studies for all students, by eliminating the tech prep program.
The new curriculum will require students in grades 9-12 to write proficiently, take math classes such as Algebra and Geometery, and science courses including Biology, Chemistry and Physics. It will also work to help make the senior year more productive.
Students who don't feel like they are being challenged, or who get 'lost in the shuffle', often drop out of high school. The majority of high school dropouts are sentenced to a life of poverty. Our Project 720 Team is working hard to help these students to 'reconnect' to Highlands High School.
Project 720 also encourages every student to plan on spending at least two years in a post-secondary training program, college or university. We must realize that as the world has become a 'smaller' place, competition for jobs has greatly increased. It is also harder than ever to find a high paying job with just a high school diploma.
Statistics indicate that careers that require a bachelor's degree pay 80% more than careers that only require a high school education. These statistics also indicate that 60% of job growth through 2012 will be in occupations that require post-secondary, vocational training or higher. Right now, fewer than 1 in 4 Pennsylvanians have a college degree.