District 228 Unveils Alternative Education Program

District 228 Unveils New Alternative Education Program
Posted on 08/21/2018
District 228 Unveils New Alternative Education Program

By: Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown
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Erin Collins thinks the setting for Bremen High School District 228’s new alternative education program, designed to give a lift to students at risk of dropping out, will give students incentive to graduate and think beyond high school.

In partnership with South Suburban College, Bremen officials Tuesday held an open house for its Delta Academy, which the district says will enable it to better tailor curriculum to students in danger of not graduating.

Located at SSC’s Oak Forest campus, the partnership will also enable 228 students to take college-level courses in career areas such as manufacturing and medicine, with tuition waived for students earning A’s and B’s.

Previously, the Delta program had students attending classes at their own high school for four hours in the evening four days a week, but the district said that structure wasn’t helping as many students as hoped and many needed a fifth year to graduate. The district has had an alternative education program in place since 2008, with students also taking courses online, which will continue at the new SSC location.

The district operates Bremen High School in Midlothian, Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, Oak Forest High School and Tinley Park High School.

Collins, the district’s alternative education director, said she hopes that with students now doing classwork on a college campus, that will be motivation for them to want to get their diploma as well as consider what’s beyond high school.

The district said it surveyed students currently enrolled in the alternative education program and found that nearly 57 percent plan on attending college, and a bit more than 43 percent intend to pursue a career certification or associate’s degree.

Speaking at the open house, Collins said the new setting and structure for Delta will enable the district to “take each student’s needs and create a curriculum that will” fit them.

Delta will offer a traditional curriculum intended to help the student complete high school, while a blended curriculum will combine that with college and career readiness education, including access to courses in fields such as emergency medicine, welding, or learning to repair and maintain industrial equipment.

The combination will “get (students) on track to have a plan for what’s coming next,” Collins said.

The academy also will have a full-time mental health professional on staff to assist at-risk students to address social and emotional needs, according to the district.

There are 104 students currently enrolled in the district’s alternative education program, and the Oak Forest location will be able to accommodate a total of 120 students, split between daytime and evening classes, according to the district. Classes at the academy start Monday.

The district will provide bus transportation, with students being picked up either at their homes or at stops near their homes, Collins said.

The academy is open to students in their junior year or above and is separate from another alternative program, called Delta Day, that is based and Hillcrest and opens to freshmen and sophomores, she said.

Learn more by watching a video from Country Club Hills TV here: