Summer 2016

ATPE News is the official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the largest educator association in Texas. The magazine addresses the most important issues affecting public education in the state. Learn more at

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16 | atpe news 1 e 1 6 | a t p e . o r g uccess High School Principal Thomasine Stewart does not give up on students, and she doesn't allow students to give up on themselves. "Failing a course is not an option," says Stewart. "If they hit a road block, we don't keep proceeding. We look at re-teaching, additional support, tutorials, whatever they need." Students at Success High School in Round Rock, Texas, are not allowed to fail a course and move forward." Stewart says, "These are diferent people, taking diferent subjects, so we re-teach in many diferent ways." The belief that all students learn diferently is at the heart of the Success program. Educators and students must collaborate to fnd an individualized way to get to graduation—and this collaboration is what makes the school truly unique. As the name "alternative school" suggests, the program at Success is an alternative to traditional teaching. Alternative education is not a new idea, but it has evolved. In the second half of the 20th century, many alternative schools were designed to serve students who had dropped out of or been expelled from traditional schools. Today, school districts are taking a more proactive approach as part of their comprehensive dropout prevention programs and the state's compensatory education program. The focus is now on providing opportunities for students in at-risk situations to be successful through a non- traditional high school diploma program. Stewart prefers to call Success a "school of choice," rather than an "alternative school," because the school serves students from area high schools who choose to apply. By design, a school of choice like Success ofers voluntary participation, a small school size, highly invested educators, and personalized instruction. More recently, the concept of school choice has come to mean a wide range of BY JEAN SCHLITZKUS 2017 Success High School Teacher of the Year Catherine Chang (left) says that caring administrators like Thomasine Stewart (right) make it easier for teachers to care for students. SUCCESS HIGH SCHOOL: STUDENTS CHOOSE A NEW PATH TO GRADUATION a t p e n e w s n a t p e n e w s DESIGN BY D E S I G N B Y D E S I G N B Y D E S I G N B Y

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