Third attempt at alternative school going well |

Third attempt at alternative school going well

Five Moffat County students were on the verge of joining the 31 percent of Colorado high school students who drop out of school.

They were saved by the school district’s alternative program, opened this year at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig building.

Four students will walk with their peers during the May 28 graduation ceremony.

Another is working furiously to do the same and, according to teacher Sherry Meadows, will also be wearing a cap and gown in four weeks.

This is Moffat County’s third attempt at providing an alternative school — and by all accounts, the most successful.

Moffat County High School Counselor Carroll Moore said the fact that the alternative school is not on the high school campus helps ensure behavior changes aren’t negatively influenced.

The alternative school combines counseling, life skills and character-building exercises with traditional classes.

Students take two courses via the Internet and one using a workbook.

The style allows students to progress at their pace, but on-site teachers are there to help.

“There’s a lot more personal and social studies than we’ve ever had before in an alternative school program,” Moore said.

“We’ve actually built in time for that.”

Students spend time in group therapy twice a week, where they work on communication, conflict resolution, anger management and setting boundaries. And, Meadows is always available for one-on-one counseling or crisis intervention.

While there are some students who have behavioral issues, are married or pregnant, a majority of the students need more one-on-one interaction, smaller classes and the ability to work at their own pace.

“It’s our concept of meeting the needs of all the students and ‘one size fits all’ is not the ideal for all students,” Superintendent of Schools Pete Bergmann said.

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