Housed in Douglass building, the core is designed to be a smaller version of a traditional school. The Core Program is comprised of approximately 100 students and 12 teachers who are certified in all the required areas needed for high school graduation. The teachers cooperate as a team while working to develop a comfortable, yet challenging academic program. The courses are 80 minute blocks which alternate by semester. Typically, students will have four block classes first semester and four different classes the second semester. Students in this program are encouraged to attend the Columbia Area Career Center or to be involved in a work-study experience for a portion of the school day. Classes such as music, foreign language, and industrial technology are not available.
This program is only open to students in their senior year or beyond who are not able to graduate with their class because of a deficiency in credits. Students attend school for a minimum of 15 hours a week and work for a minimum of 15 hours a week. During class time students prepare for the GED test. Students who pass the GED, maintain a job, and complete all other requirements of the program will be granted a Columbia Public Schools high school diploma and are eligible to participate in the Douglass graduation ceremony.
This program provides on-the-job paid training to 10 students who are at least 16 years old. For half the day, the students are involved in academic instruction through contracted credits required for graduation. Students become Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital employees and work in various departments for a minimum of 3 hours per day, 5 days per week. The classroom is located in the Veterans Hospital. Only students with good attendance, evidence of good citizenship, and who have earned several of their required credits are considered.