Last February, the Leavenworth and Lansing School districts' Boards of Education convened for a special joint session to approve the formation of a partnership agreement that would provide an alternative program for students of both districts. The collaborative approach, which also includes the Sisters of Charity-Leavenworth and the University of Saint Mary, is designed to fulfill the needs of students in grades 7 through 12 who struggle in a traditional classroom setting. Throughout the spring and summer, representatives from each of the districts and partner organizations collaboratively planned and prepared for a program launch this August.
The alternative program, named "Promise Academy," is housed at 200 E. Mary Street in Lansing. Leavenworth USD 453 provides the coordinator of the program, and Lansing USD 469 provides the location, a teacher and an aide, and technology needed for e2020 curriculum. The University of St. Mary will provide tutors and mentors as the program evolves. The Sisters of Charity will be a resource for providing services in the Leavenworth and Lansing areas that students may need to attend school. This unique community-based, partnership approach delivers a personalized system that allows students to work at a pace that best suits their learning style.
"I am extremely excited to launch this new program and to have the opportunity to work with both the Leavenworth and Lansing schools, The University of St. Mary and the Sisters of Charity to provide educational services to our students.
We know that some students need a different path to succeed educationally and the school districts, university, and Sisters of Charity took a positive step to help these kids. Our students may have struggled in the past in a traditional classroom and Promise Academy is designed to be a challenging opportunity for them to excel academically. During this school year we are equipped to handle 25 to 30 students per semester," said J.D. Nelson, Coordinator of Alternative Programs.
Students who successfully complete program requirements are eligible to receive diplomas from their respective high schools. The curriculum is aligned with state and national standards and prepares students for associated standardized tests.
Promise Academy is in session from 7:40 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and offers flexible scheduling to specifically meet student needs. Participants are permitted to take part in co-curricular and extra-curribigcular activities in their home district and take regular education classes in addition to their alternative studies.
Acceptance into the program is based on recommendations from a school student improvement process. Additionally, parents can request that administrators consider their child for the program.
"Due to the size of our classroom, and the number of staff assigned to Promise Academy, we are limited in the number of students we can serve at any one time. It is my hope that we operate at capacity during the entire school year. This is a chance to provide a much needed educational service in our communities, a service that I truly hope we can expand in future years," said J.D. Nelson.
Page 2 of 2 - Pioneer Pride is submitted by Leavenworth USD 453