Our Purpose and Objectives
All California children are required to attend school until they are eighteen years of age. But what happens when a student is unsuccessful in the comprehensive high school setting?
What happens to a sixteen-year-old starting her junior year with so few credits that timely graduation is impossible? What about the seventeen-year-old who has become so alienated from a larger, impersonal high school that he begins to skip classes regularly and jeopardizes his chance of graduation? What does the comprehensive high school do with the student whose behavior, even after several attempts at correction, drives teachers to distraction and disrupts the learning environment for other students?
In California, one of the solutions to these problems is alternative education. As high school students face failure and frustration in the comprehensive setting, they are counseled to consider an alternative school that fosters a more flexible environment. They can enroll in a program that has small class sizes, an individualized student-centered curriculum, and increased personal counseling services.
The Education Code defines alternative school as a school or separate class group, which is operated in a manner designed to: 1) Maximize the opportunity for students to develop the positive values of self-reliance, initiative, kindness, spontaneity, resourcefulness, courage, creativity, responsibility, and joy. 2) Recognize that the best learning takes place when the student learns because of their own desire to learn. 3) Maintain a learning situation maximizing student self-motivation and encouraging the student in his own time to follow his own interests. These interests may result in whole or in part from a presentation by his teachers of choices of learning projects. 4) Maximize the opportunity for teachers, parents and students to cooperatively develop the learning process and its subject matter. This opportunity shall be a continuous, permanent process. 5) Maximize the opportunity for the students, teachers, and parents to continuously react to the changing world, including but not limited to the community in which the school is located.
Many students will be able to improve their situation and be able to graduate from the Palm Academy. Others will complete the California High School Proficiency Examination. Some will return to Coronado High School while still others will transfer into the adult education program. Adult education allows students to earn a diploma or earn a High School Equivalency Certificate through taking the General Education Development Test. Some students will opt to join the military and others will enter the job market. Whatever the ultimate goal, students who attend Palm Academy are given a new chance to succeed. Young people who may have failed to graduate are able to become productive citizens. Although there is no typical student, there are countless individuals who need the opportunities provided by Palm Academy.
Alternative education programs are designed to meet the unique personal and educational needs of students who may have been unsuccessful in previous educational settings.
The objectives of the Palm Academy alternative education program include, but are not limited to, helping students:
- acquire a high school diploma
- pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE)
- pass the General Educational Development (GED) Exam and qualify for the High School Equivalency Diploma
- enter institutes of higher education
- enter the armed services
- acquire entry-level job skills through vocational preparation
- develop feelings of self-worth, self-confidence, and personal satisfaction
- develop a sense of responsibility
- develop a tolerance and understanding of a variety of viewpoints and cultural contexts
- engage in meaningful recreational and leisure-time activities
- experience a program tailored to individual needs, with classroom instruction supplemented by independent study, regional occupational programs, work study, career applications, and experiences in the community
- understand and obey laws, and participate in constructive civic and community activities
- understand and practice sound money management and become intelligent consumers
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