Off-Campus Programs Provides More High School Career-Oriented Classes

Let’s face it: the highlight of students’ school day is when they can leave school. Leaving school early is always fantastic a�� you get to watch kids hurry to their classes, knowing with glee that you get to leave. You head outside to the parking lot, where a bus is waiting to take you to another school a�� wait, what?

Seniors and juniors have the option of being allowed to leave school in the afternoons to go to classes at other high schools for career-centered courses.

On the class registration card under “Off-Campus Programs”, there are 17 fields of classes in which students can focus on to advance their future careers. To sign up for an off-campus program, students have to fill out an application, which is a bit complicated according to junior Loren Hersh, a member of this program who currently attends Thomas Edison HS of Technology in the afternoons.

“You talk with your counselor, and they try to fit it in your schedule, and make sure you can get all the [required] credits,” Hersh said. “Then they give you an application which you fill out with your parents, then send that application to the counseling office at Edison either by yourself or through MCPS.”

The RHS counselors are in close contact with the Edison office. They make sure that all students applying to Edison’s program have the credits and enough room in their schedule to be able to partake in it. They also provide support and answer questions and help out in the process of application.

Along with Hersh, nine other RHS students also trek to Edison in the afternoons. A bus leaves for Edison during fourth period at 10:40 a.m. and comes back at 2 p.m., at the end of eighth period.

Counselor Wendy Kiang-Spray recommends that anyone who is interested in the program visit Edison’s school website,, to see if there is an upcoming tour at the school.

“[Edison] is a very interesting place and when I’ve visited, I loved seeing so many kids doing so many different kinds of things there,” Kiang-Spray said. “Every student was engaged, whether it was interior design, culinary, computer graphics or auto body.”

Kiang-Spray works individually with students interested in the Off-Campus Program for Edison to make sure that the process to enroll into Edison’s program goes smoothly.

“Every student is different, with different long and short range goals in mind, so I would counsel each student individually,” Kiang-Spray said.

Junior Gabriel Wilson goes to Edison for network operations classes, along with three other students from RHS.

“[What] I enjoy most is the experience that I take away from it,” Wilson said. “It is a small class, so if I don’t understand [concepts], we can keep going over it until I get it right.”

Wilson said he misses having classes with his friends at RHS, but recognizes the opportunity to make new friends and get an early start on a career. Although there is the drawback of having to leave RHS and its familiar setting, the chance to advance in a career is worth it for some people.

Students interested in leaving school early each day to pursue their passions while still having a high school experience should contact their counselor as soon as possible- it’s not too late to sign up and be a part of this program.