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ALC program expands at Park Rapids Area Schools

By Anna Erickson

Park Rapids Area High School is expanding its Area Learning Center options and will have a day program, as well as after school program.

“It used to be an after school credit recovery program,” high school principal Jeff Johnson explained. “If a student needed to make up a class or two to get enough credits for graduation that worked.”

Now, the high school is adding a day program. The after school program will still be available but now there will be programming from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Lisa Coborn is the coordinator and lead teacher for the ALC.

“It’s about building relationships with students, businesses, social services and the community,” she said.

The program provides flexibility for students who need a different way to learn.

“If a student has a baby or is also working this provides some flexibility,” she explained.

The school is partnering with Mahube-Otwa to provide daycare. The day program, after school and daycare will be in Frank White Education Center.

“We want to take away those barriers that might exist for some students,” Johnson said.

The programming isn’t set in stone and might focus more on getting students interview and application writing skills among other real life items.

“They still have to pass all the state standards and Park Rapids grad standards to graduate but we can also help them become career ready,” Johnson added.

They hope to set up some mentoring programs with people in the business community.

Last year, between 15 and 20 students that graduated took some classes using the credit recovery program. Younger students also used the program.

So far, 12 students are enrolled in the day program. Johnson and Coborn are meeting with students and parents to work on a continual learning program with goals and planning.

“There’s a unique population with unique needs in this area and the ALC concept makes a lot of sense,” Coborn said.

They will also be looking at ways to offer transportation to students who might have difficulty getting to school.

“Flexibility is the key term and learning that’s relevant to the students,” Johnson said.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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