LOWELL | Lowell High School administrators want to recruit more students into the district's Air Force JROTC to keep the program viable.
The Tri-Creek School Board learned Thursday there are about 80 students in the program. The federal government requires a minimum of 100 students or 10 percent of the student body. An official federal count will be done Feb. 10.
"We've been on probation for a number of years as our numbers have been going down," Superintendent Debra Howe said.
Lowell High School Assistant Principal David Wilson said Tri-Creek is in talks with the Crown Point and Hanover school systems to allow outside students to participate in JROTC at Lowell High School.
On Thursday, the board approved a JROTC FLEX course that incorporates leadership, fitness and social action. It will give credit to those enrolled, and they could be counted as part of the school's JROTC program. While not requiring they continue with JROTC, it would introduce students to the program and its benefits.
Board member Michelle Dumbsky suggested those currently in JROTC might visit Lowell Middle School to drum up interest in the program.
Maj. Dean Eller and Master Sgt. Mike Davis operate and teach the Junior JROTC program. Davis was credited with the creation of the FLEX course.
Master Sgt. Michael Yedinak, who had been an instructor in the Lowell High School JROTC for 24 years, was forced to resign in May 2012 when a new federal law required all such instructors hold college degrees. His request to be "grandfathered in" was rejected in Washington, D.C.