SLVUSD’s new alternative-education program offers fresh opportunities

Let’s face it, school is not always easy. For some, being on campus is an outright nightmare. The pressure of constantly being on campus with several hundred other students for six hours a day is an overwhelming reality for some students here at San Lorenzo Valley High School. Also, many Seniors lack several credits needed, which can hinder their ability to graduate.

The alternative education program offers a part time on-campus and part time at-home online program which would serve for students who deal with previously mentioned anxiety problems, various physical ailments or for students for whatever reason are not apt for functioning in a public school.

It’s not hard to believe that there are some kids who are not able to spend their whole education on campus with all the other students. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is the truth. Many students may experience behavioral problems not benefit from not being on campus all the time.

At the moment, the program is mostly serving seniors who are lacking credits needed to graduate. Using the program, the student can gain the needed credits in an online course, so they may work at their own pace.

Working at one’s own pace is one of the important factors of the program. Although it would still have to be a steady pace, the students would be given a chance to be able to complete the work in their course(s) without out feeling too rushed.

The current program is a pilot program, with high hopes that it will succeed where others before it have failed.

The new alternative education program is also regarded as a final effort to keep some students from having to go into a county program or conventional home schooling. The ability to collect missing graduation credits independently while still working at school can keep some students from flunking out.

There’s also the question of if the school or the district is being damaged financially from students working completely independent and not being on campus. However, this program is in its infancy, having first being introduced this semester, there are currently not enough students working independently to drastically affect the school. More students may make the transfer into this program next school year. The program is off to a somewhat slow start due to the matter that many students who may benefit from the program do not want to make the drastic changes that may be be made to their schedule.

But how is the program different than conventional home schooling or charter schools? Although the program has its features of independence, it is a part time online, part time on campus situation. So the users of the program will not be home schooled, nor will they go to Ponderosa or Coast Redwood.

Although the new alternative education pilot program has not picked up too much speed yet, there are high hopes in the future that this program will reach success where its predecessors have failed, and that many students can go through high school comfortably using this program.

By Michael Eshnaur

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