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Estacada district lays groundwork for alternative high school

The Estacada School District is continuing to put the pieces for an alternative high school together for the 2016-17 school year.

“We’re putting the nuts and bolts of the program together,” said Ryan Carpenter, principal at Estacada High School. “We’re hoping to gain a greater understanding of different practices for alternative schools, and brainstorm the best ones for Estacada.”

The district formed a committee of approximately 20 school leaders, students and parents to discuss possibilities for an alternative high school. During its second meeting on Feb. 17, the committee discussed what the environment at the alternative high school should be like.

“The group has been very positive while we’ve brainstormed ideas,” Carpenter said. “I’ve been very pleased.”

The committee would like to see an inclusive environment in which students can regain credits at an accelerated pace. The group also would like the program to be voluntary and have a strong affiliation with the primary high school so students could still participate in extracurricular activities such as band, choir, sports and clubs.

The group is forming a smaller committee consisting of several students, parents and key staff members as specifics of the program are determined.

The group hopes to identify students to invite to the program by the end of March.