Moffat County alternative program moves onto high school campus
Craig — Moffat County School District’s alternative high school, known as the Youth Experiencing Success program, is making a move this year into the old wood shop classroom in the agriculture program’s building behind the Moffat County High school.
The online-based program is designed to support students — some with unique situations or challenges who may otherwise have chosen to drop out of school — in getting their high school diploma. Started in 2004, the program occupied classroom space in the district administration building for the past five school years, with an enrollment of about 25 students last year.
“I think it’s a very positive move. We will be closer to the high school… and that’s a real benefit for kids,” said YES program teacher Joy Tegtman. “For example, maybe a kid is in the alternative program but wants to be in band or PE and when we’re so separate from (the high school), it makes it difficult for kids, so this way it’s a lot easier.”
Moffat County High School Principal Kelly McCormick hopes that the proximity of the alternative school’s new location to the high school’s vocational offerings might even inspire new interests in students.
“I also want to spark some interest in some of these kids, such as an interest in welding, where they could even get some trade experience under their belt,” he said.
Alternative school students aren’t the only ones who will benefit from more options. MCHS students that want to take advantage of classes online will have an easier time accessing them. The YES program’s curriculum is offered through APEX Learning, which offers online classes in everything from Chinese to psychology to Advanced Placement courses.
“Now we open up options and doors for kids in traditional school like if they want to take APEX German or catch up on credits,” McCormick said.
The move just made sense for reasons of efficiency and providing better student support for both schools, McCormick said. New MCHS Assistant Principal Mark Shore and Counselor Donna Weinman also help oversee the program.
“I’ll be making many trips per day to be up there and check on things,” Shore said. “I want to be recognizable to students.”
The space was left empty last year after the wood shop program was cut due to budget shortfalls. It has since been cleaned, repainted and refurbished. Tegtman and school district staff were busy moving computers and supplies into the space this week.
“I’m just looking forward to the new year,” Tegtman said, who’s taught at MCSD for 15 years, including both social studies at the high school and the alternative program. “I think the best part is I get to know them better individually because there are fewer of them. Instead of looking at 130 kids a day you’re looking at 25. I enjoy getting to know the kids.”