DERRY — A partnership between Pinkerton Academy and the Upper Room keeps students on the right track.

The Derry high school and family resource center continue to join for a successful high school equivalency program that helps student earn a high school diploma.

The seven-year partnership has moved away from the former GED program for earning a diploma. In 2014, the New Hampshire Department of Education will use the HiSet testing program.

The updated GED/HiSet Options Program is now available through Pinkerton Academy and the Upper Room, and is for students that may have dropped out, or who have had challenges with traditional school, helping them stay in school, earn their diploma, gain employment skills and connect to further education and or job training.

With the state continuing to support the law that students must remain in school until they are 18, the program continues to be an option for local teens.

The updated program will also be more in line with the Common Core Standards.

The most current GED program hadn’t been revised since 2002.

Most of the testing will remain the same but some things will change, according to Pinkerton program adviser Bill Foye.

“Most of it stays the same, there are five tests, you take a pre-test, you prepare,” he said. “You still see reading, writing, math, social studies and science.”

Foye said there has been a lot of talk about the new program, but said the test is testing the same things as before

Those students passing the test receive the New Hampshire Certificate of High School Equivalency.

The Upper Room’s Brenda Guggisberg said there are, on average, 16 students enrolled in the program every season.

“It’s really important to recognize the completion of high school no matter how you did it,” she said.

The new testing program will also be more useful when students are considering further education or employment.

The program develops an individual plan around each student and their interests and academic needs.

All classes are held at The Upper Room, a Family Resource Center at 36 Tsienneto Road.

For more information contact Bill Foye at Pinkerton Academy at 437-5200 x 1115, or Brenda Guggisberg at the Upper Room at 437-8477 x18.

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