Shenandoah County Public Schools are considering an option to fill seats in under-enrolled Triplett Tech classes by making them available to students who are in home education or private school.

Superintendent Mark Johnston confirmed the school division is exploring expanding Triplett Tech access. School Board members tonight will get their first glimpse of the policy change.

Full-time Shenandoah County Public School students would have the first choice at courses. If the course does not fill up, remaining seats would then be opened up to students in private schools or who are home-schooled, Johnston said.

“If after our full-time students have had opportunities to enroll in our CTE (Career and Technical Education) programs at Triplett Tech, I have no problem providing access to any unfilled seats to students in our community who have chosen a home school or private school option. These programs are extremely valuable for our students in terms of gaining valuable work and career experience,” Johnston said.

Courses have a maximum enrollment of 20 students because of federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Johnston said there has been discussion in the community regarding opening up classes. He has had conversations with county residents and board members have heard from their constituents, he said.

Board Chair Karen Whetzel agreed she always wants to hear from the residents she represents.

The policy change makes sense to Whetzel.

“This might be a way to fill up the classes and take advantage of the teacher we are already paying for,” Whetzel said.

There is partial state funding for each student enrolled, Johnston said.

There would be no fee to enroll in the classes other than a requirement in some courses that all students purchase necessary supplies.

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