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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bring It ON!!

This is where I will be working. Within Success Academy is an alternative school. I have been given the assignment of motivating these "at-risk" teens. I am working with a another GREAT, "kick-in-the-pants", fun teacher this year. Apparently, I will be getting paid to not only Aide and Sub, but also to learn the skill of being quick witted, and sarcastic; skills highly desirable in an Alternative High School. Our staff is about 10, so we are small, but mighty!! I am looking forward to another great, fun, yet challenging year. A little bit about Success Academy: The Milford Success Academy originated in the 2000-2001 school year. The district initiated the program because we were able to identify a group of students who were failing to realize their full academic potential, were not engaged in learning, were not attending school, were behaving in self-defeating ways, and were jeopardizing their chances of graduating. The program was possible with the support of the Ohio Alternative Education Grant. It funded, in partnership with community service agencies and the School District, the initiation of the Success Academy in 2000-01. The grant continued funding at a reduced level for the 2001-04 grant years. THE PROGRAM SERVES: Students from the Milford Junior and Senior High Schools who have demonstrated academic achievement well below their abilities and are in jeopardy of not being promoted or graduating with their peers. In the initial year the program was designed to serve 20 students in the Opportunity School, a long term virtual learning academy, and 20 students in the Alternate School, a short term placement in lieu of suspension or expulsion. The need for student enrollment in the Opportunity School has increased each year. In school year 2000-01 1317 student days were accumulated by the 368 students assigned to the Alternate School, and census for the 2001-02 was greater due to the previous year’s effectiveness and the confidence students, parents, and staff have in the program’s effectiveness. Because attendance has been limited to just 20 students at any time, the statistics for the Alternate School enrollment have remained constant. The low student recidivism rate demonstrates that the use of the Alternate School as a discipline option is effective. (FYI: I was told to always have a sweater. The kids don't want to return when the room is set to about 65, making it just a bit uncomfortable and most of the girls especially, shall we say, aren't dressed for those cold conditions) :) GUIDELINES Students who are enrolled in the Opportunity School complete an application, and along with their parents, participate in an enrollment interview. The school day is from 8:30 A.M. until dismissal at 2:15 P.M. Monday through Thursday. The Opportunity School also offers an afternoon recoupment class from 2:45 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. to allow students time to catch up on assignments. Students who have had perfect attendance and have completed the requisite number of lessons for their individual programs may be dismissed early on Friday. This provides an incentive to students to do their best and allows staff the necessary time to complete the volumes of reading the students’ work. Students use the Internet to access their Virtual Curriculum which is closely aligned with the High School course of study. They read, research, and answer questions which lead to their final projects and examinations. Students referred to the Alternate School meet with their High School Principal (Assistant Principals handle most of the discipline) and are referred to us in lieu of Suspension. INFORMATION ON INDIVIDUALIZED CURRICULUM: Whether assigned to the Alternate School or the Opportunity School, each student comes to the Success Academy Schools with very individual needs. Though the Alternate School is designed to be a memorable consequence to the student for non-productive behaviors demonstrated in the traditional school setting, the underlying philosophy is to make good use of the time spent here to stay current with work expectations and to catch up on missed worked. The staff provides the student with support in completing and submitting assignments made by regular teachers. Frequently, we are able to provide vital 1:1 attention to the student that enables him/her to finish a considerable amount of work. By design the Alternate School promotes a very austere study environment with students working in semi-isolation in a classroom where students may not speak or move without teacher permission. Students must empty their pockets upon arrival and may not wear jewelry while in attendance; and they must bring a bag lunch which is eaten at their desks. Students enrolled in the Opportunity School select classes that are aligned with their regular course schedule. We partner with other District schools to provide meaningful community service activities for our senior students. Last year students worked with the kindergarten literacy program , and this year the school will be exploring a few new opportunities for service with the middle and elementary schools. To assure that our students are getting a variety of life experiences we have added a work study component to the program and many students have jobs with employers who have partnered with the school to provide an assessment of the student’s work performance, attitude, attendance, and appearance.

1 comment:

CandyandLadybugs said...

Wow! What a great opportunity! I'm glad you'll be working at such an interesting school. Let us know how it goes. :)