With its new Road to Success program, the Estacada School District hopes to provide a home to high school students who haven’t found one in the traditional education model.

The alternative high school program will launch at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, and Principal Ryan Carpenter has high hopes for its success.

“We want this to be a prestigious program,” he said. “We want students who have not had success in the general public education system to feel like they’re a part of something successful here.”

The Road to Success program will replace the high school’s current online credit recovery program, where upperclassmen who are a year or more behind in credit hours are enrolled in an accelerated online credit recovery program, in addition to taking a full load of credits at the high school.

Carpenter said this program has not been as successful as he would like it to be and believes that the comprehensive nature of the new program will be valuable.

The Road to Success program will have a full-time teacher and two instructional aides. Additionally, six teachers at Estacada High School will divide their time between the program and the high school.

The program will consist of about 40 students, mainly juniors and seniors who are six months to one year behind in credits.

Several students have already signed up, and enrollment is expected to grow in the next few months,

Both Carpenter and Elisa Gardner, who facilitates the high school’s current credit recovery program, said the program’s small size will be valuable.

“(The program will offer) a positive influence in relationships since the class sizes are smaller,” Gardner said. “This gives the staff and the students a chance to focus on the individual needs, skills abilities and future of each student.”

In order to facilitate individual student success, the program’s lead teacher will create a personalized education plan for each student.

“We want to closely monitor each student’s roadmap to being successful and walking across that stage at graduation,” Carpenter said.

The program will use a blended model of online and direct instruction.

As a student enters the program, they will take a pretest that will identify both strong skills and areas that require more work. Then, the teacher will design an online course around the student’s educational needs.

Some days, students will work with online courses, and other days, they’ll work directly with a teacher.

Gardner believes this will be valuable since it will target different learning styles.

“It will expose them to different learning styles and ways of learning, teaching them that there isn’t just one way to teach, learn or accomplish tasks,” she said.

The program will consist of four 120 minute class periods, each of which will be dedicated to a specific subject or skill.

One period will be dedicated to career opportunities and internships.

The district is discussing a potential partnership with Northwest Technologies and hopes to collaborate with additional local businesses.

“We want to allow students to engage with what they’re truly interested and hope to pursue after high school,” Carpenter said.

The program’s location is still being finalized, but it may be housed in the classrooms located under the football stadium.

Carpenter is confident that the Road to Success program will serve its students well.

“We’re going to create an environment where they can feel comfortable and successful,” he said.

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