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The Dualies

Dual enrollment is a back door into Community High.

by Eve Silberman

From the March, 2019 issue

Like most lotteries, the one that decides which ninth-graders get into Community High produces more losers than winners. Three years ago, Delaney Mohney recalls, she drew a low number--("like 441?")--and "cried for a whole day."

She brightened when she found she could "dual-enroll" in both her assigned school, Pioneer, and her desired one, Community. Now a senior, Mohney says, "I'm definitely more a part of Community than Pioneer."

The alternative high school chooses its freshman class via a "double-blind" lottery (students are identified by number rather than name). This year, 345 eighth graders competed for 132 spots.

After the drawing, the numbers of the winners were posted online. "We try to avoid hysteria at the school," former counselor John Boshoven once told the Ann Arbor News.

Not all the winners choose to attend, so most years, about two dozen are picked from the waiting list. Others, like Mohney, dual enroll, splitting their time between Community and their home schools. The "dualies," as some call themselves, enjoy some but not all of Community's famous perks: they address teachers by their first names but miss out on "forum," a close-knit homeroom experience. Mohney still wishes she could go full-time, complaining, "I don't have as personal a connection with my teachers at Pioneer."

Others see benefits to their split-screen educations. Sophomore Seamus McFarland likes the "sense of freedom" he gets navigating two schools. He knows the stereotypes--"some Pioneer people say that Community is like a super-druggie school," and some Commie High kids call Pioneer a "bland, traditional school"--but shrugs them off. "I have friends in both schools," he says.     (end of article)

[Originally published in March, 2019.]

 



 
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