|“Community As School” Alternative Education Program (CAS)||
24 October, 2009
High school students have taken their academic experience off "campus", and to a place where their \"classmates\" are 70 to 80 years their senior. Their school is the Orleans County Nursing Home. The alternative education program is a voluntary program that is available to students that have promise but have had some difficulty in the traditional school environment and structure.
The \"Community As School\" Program (CAS) began in 1998 and has served as the Albion Central School District\'s Alternative Education Program. Students enrolled in CAS are typically those that are struggling to earn enough credits to graduate, do not feel a sense of belonging and are at risk for dropping out. The students that are selected for CAS are given the opportunity to earn those credits for graduation, are better able to make connections to the real world, and are able to connect back to their community. In addition, students are given the opportunity to feel successful with their education and parents are encouraged to get more involved in their child\'s education.
CAS uses an off site location, which is our area Nursing Home, as the central classroom setting. Students enrolled are better able to form positive relationships with teachers and students, are able to give back to their community and learn the importance of respect and responsibility in the workplace. The residents of the Nursing home are better able to feel more connected and allows them to share past experiences with the students. Students enrolled have the opportunity to earn up to ten credits per school year and are given internship opportunities in various fields such as Dietary, Social Work, Nursing and Maintenance. Service Learning is a central component to CAS.
Data on Success:
CAS is supported by the following pieces of research:
- Improved academic performance
- Higher grades
- Increased school engagement
- Increased graduation rates
- Lower drop-out rates
- Increased self-efficacy
- Increased hope for the future
- Feel more competent in their relationships with peers and adults
- Greater knowledge of careers
CAS has proven to provide students that are at-risk of dropping out or being unsuccessful with the opportunities to give back to their community while earning credits to graduate. The success of the program has been felt throughout the entire community.
Contact Person: Brennan Meakin
Components of School Excellence: