Superintendent Greg Walker has recently proposed a new program to support students who struggle with the traditional high school experience. Students struggle for reasons which vary from person to person, but each of them needs a little help to be able to reach the goal of graduating. Walker has recognized this in the past and put a solution into place that would make it easier for these kids to make it to the end of senior year.
“I started a program at Brownstown that is currently in its first year and is having success,” said Walker.
This program is an alternative education path that Walker is planning to install at Paoli for the 2019-2020 school year. His previous experience and positive results have left him excited about the help a program like this will offer Paoli students who have obstacles preventing them from having a standard high school career. Walker believes this could give them the push they need to earn their diploma.
“Many of our students are prevented from graduating from high school due to barriers in life that are not of their control,” said Walker.
He has spoken with PACT, and they have agreed that his proposal is a good idea. They are interested in partnering with Walker on the program he is hoping to establish.
Alternative education is for those who cannot do what a typical high school student can due to certain circumstances. Walker is sympathetic to these hurdles students have to conquer and knows this program will be of great benefit to the ones who meet the criteria necessary to participate in alternative education.
There are five situations the state approves for students to take the alternate schooling route. The first is if a student is intending to withdraw or has already withdrawn prior to graduation, followed by a student who has failed to meet academic requirements and would learn better in a manner other than that of a traditional high school. The third is if the student is a parent or is going to become one and does not have the ability to be present at school as a normal student could. Next, is if the student is employed and must work during school hours in order to support themselves. The final basis upon which a student can use alternative education is if they are disruptive.
“I feel that it is important for the school corporation to try to eliminate as many of those barriers as possible to allow those students an opportunity to graduate,” said Walker.
By creating this program and providing a way for struggling students to still check the boxes necessary for graduation, Walker will be making PHS a more accepting environment and success-promoting school.
Story by Masden Embry