Sheffield High School adds academies to better prepare students and increase enrollment

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. - After a hectic summer, school leaders in Sheffield are ready to welcome students back to campus on Thursday.

Facing a steady decline in enrollment, system leaders have given academics in the high school an overhaul over the last several months.

“They’re so excited to see us moving in a positive direction and doing some new things,” stated Sheffield High School Counselor Melissa Ryan.

On Thursday, students will be introduced to Sheffield’s “Guided Pathways for Success".

Academies focused on health science, business and STEM; with future plans to add culinary and performing arts.

“We need to meet the needs of all of our students, not just certain segments of our school population and our students run the gamut,” Ryan explained.

Not only is the high school adding academies, they will be offering more AP courses, along with opportunities for distance learning and dual enrollment.

Sheffield High School Instructional Leader Joey Burch wants to reverse the steady decline in enrollment, and believes they are on the right track.

“Students can see, hey, I fit in at Sheffield High School. They have opportunities that I can’t get at these other places,” said Burch. “I think it will be a good thing, we have already had six students this year enroll over the summer.”

And another first for Sheffield, all high school students will be assigned laptops to help with instruction.

Sheffield school system administrators said they have lost close to 100 students over the last ten years. Currently there are 280 students enrolled in Sheffield High School.