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ALC, Targeted Services expand in Park Rapids

By Joleen DeLaHunt / For the Enterprise - 

By Joleen DeLaHunt


The Park Rapids School District received official approval on the ALC, Targeted Services, and high school Independent Study Program from the Minnesota Department of Education earlier this month. This means our plan to provide alternative programming for our students has been officially approved! ALC means Alternative Learning Center.

Under the umbrella of alternative programming, are two components for Century School and two for the high school.Joleen DeLaHunt

At Century, alternative programming involves coordinating our own Targeted Services Program for K-8 students outside the regular school day. It allows us the flexibility to provide free, after-school, and summer classes with small groups to children who qualify. The goal is to provide supplemental reading, math and social skills help.

Enrollment forms are now available for our students in grades K-7 for summer Targeted Services. Contact your child’s teacher to determine eligibility. Two weeks of classes will be in June and three weeks in August. Help to bridge your child’s summer learning.

The second component of alternative programming at Century School is called the Student Success Program at the middle school. Three years ago, Student Success began as a grant. This was a partnership between the school and community entities to support at-risk students who may not graduate on time.

Parent involvement is key. By providing learning opportunities with smaller groups and rigorous expectations while developing relationships with adults, we have seen success in keeping our students in school, motivated and ready for high school. What began as a 5th and 6th grade program will now include grades 5-8. Aaron Morris, the coordinator, communicates closely with parents and all teachers involved in the program to meet students’ individual needs.

Because of the success of our students, the district and community partnerships have collaborated to continue with this programming. It’s about providing trusting relationships with students that keep them in school, engaged, and successful. We are so proud to have the MDE’s approval to continue to build upon the strong foundation we currently have.

At the high school level, the MDE approved our ALC program to allow for completion of classes or credits both during and outside the regular school day. There is also flexibility for independent study.

The mission of the Park Rapids Alternative Program is: “To provide an alternative approach to traditional education that will help students achieve success in developing individual skills and talents as well as promoting lifelong learning. This will be accomplished by a ‘holistic’ approach to the students’ needs within a climate of mutual respect and friendship.”