Promoting a positive environment; Alternative High School aims to provide a family-like atmosphere for students


Meg Daly

Accounting teacher Mrs. Janie Chase helps two students with their e2020 classes in the computer lab.

Rachael Kaiser, Asst. Editor-in-Chief

In promoting a positive atmosphere, the Alternative High School helps their students become more successful academically and socially.

Two shifts of classes are offered at the Alternative High School, one from 7:30 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. and another from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The second shift is made up of online classes and was put in place for students that cannot attend until later in the day.

Every six weeks a student earns one-half of a credit, which allows students to earn credits at a faster rate than at the traditional pace of one credit every 12 weeks. The faster credit earning process allows students to work at their own pace.

“Most of [the students] here are considered ‘at risk’, and an at risk student can have lots of dimensions, but most of our [students] are behind,” said English teacher Mrs. Kim Csage. “They’re behind in credits and a lot of it is due to what’s going on at home.”

An “at risk” student generally has a greater possibility of dropping out of school. Individual help usually benefits these students more than the traditional high school curriculum.

“We offer smaller classes, and our students like that because they receive more one-on-one attention from each of their teachers,” said Special Education teacher Mrs. Esther Hitchcock.

Smaller class sizes enable teachers to have a closer connection with their students and teachers can give each student more attention.

“The classes are smaller so you can ask more questions, and the teachers are even better down here for keeping up with what we’re missing,” said senior Dana Colhon. “They’re on [the students] a little bit better.”

Many of the students at the Alternative High School have faced problems such as depression, family problems or they may be at work during the day.

Senior Dalton Wing commutes across town to attend the Alternative High School.

“Just because the name of the school has alternative in it does not mean that we are alternative,” said Wing. “Alternative means different, and we’re proud to be different because we all have our struggles and that’s what makes us unique. We are a small family here.”

The students and teachers work together to form relationships and prepare for life after high school.