CV starting alternative high school

Staff photo by Philip Wright

YAVAPAI College, on Apache Trail, will be the location of the new alternative high school offered by the Camp Verde Unified School District. Two classrooms in the old elementary school will be used for the new alternative school.

The school, which hasn't been officially named yet, will be held in two classrooms at Yavapai College on Apache Trail. Enrollment will be held to a maximum of 15 students the first year, and the school still has openings and is actively recruiting.

"It is for kids who haven't had success in a traditional school," said Amber Lee, interim coordinator.

Lee said the school also will offer an educational option for pregnant teens or teens who are parents. She hopes to bring back students who have given up on traditional high school and dropped out.

Sponsored by the Camp Verde Governing Board in partnership with Yavapai County School Superintendent Paul Street, the new school is modeled after a similar alternative school in Prescott. The exact hours of the school day haven't been set, but Lee said it will be morning classes, probably from 8:45 until noon. She said that schedule works better for students who need to work or have a child to take care of.

"They might be able to get credits for working," Lee said.

The alternative school will offer a different type of educational structure familiar to most students. Students in ninth through 12th grades will occupy the same two classrooms and won't change rooms during the day. Lee explained that this system works because each student will be self-directed and will work at his or her own pace on subjects in which they need credits.

The same subjects will be taught as at the high school. Students will have computer-assisted instruction with teacher supplement. Lee said teachers will be in the classrooms with the students to assist when necessary.

In addition to a shortened day and self-directed study, students in the new alternative school will have access to the district's counseling services. Lee said decisions about athletics and extra-curricular activities are yet to be made, but she expects students in the alternative school will have access to the same activities as they would at Camp Verde High School.

Lee stressed that the new school is not a special education school. "But those students are eligible," she said.

Lee said the primary goal of the school is to offer a different approach to educating students who, for whatever reason, did not do well in a traditional environment.

"Some just give up," she said. "I want to get them back."

She asks that interested parents or students give her a call at 567-8234. "They can come in and meet with me to get more information," Lee said.

Students do not have to live in the Camp Verde Unified School District to attend the alternative school.

"I'm really excited," Lee said. "This is needed, and it's going to serve the kids who need a little different twist on high school."

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