The personal learning network for educators
I operate a school within a school program in an urban area that functions during twilight hours. Our program has all core subjects and includes others such as health, physical education, art appreciation, and life skills. We also offer honors level as well as AP level courses in some subjects. All students must participate in a community internship program each year which involves them working/volunteering in the larger community in order to successfully graduate.
To me, the most important component of any alternative program is the staff. Alternative teachers must be the best teachers you can find in your district . Connecting with alternative populations requires strong and flexible staff who are not swayed by the daily inconsistencies we get with alternative students. Second, a competency based mode of instruction (online) has totally transformed our program making it truly meet our student's needs. I started a blog and forum at : www.althighschool.com that describes our program in more detail.
Thanks for your post, we are getting ready to open our twilight alternative program after the holiday break! Your point about staff is well taken. Reminds me of what Collins says in Good to Great, " you have to have the right people on the bus".
I checked out your blog and noticed the video clip from Ken Robinson. I came across that video a couple of weeks ago on the Educators PLN. As a result I bought his book "The Element", which is very good.
I have a couple of questions, What time does your program start? and who sets up the community based internships?
Thanks again, Ray