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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18 | atpe news 1 e n 1 8 | a t p e . o r g a t p e n e w s 1 they also beneft from a teacher-led classroom. The blended approach to teaching extends into what Stewart calls "experiences." These are hands-on learning opportunities that are relevant to students in several diferent courses or sections of a course. Part of the challenge for administrators at schools like Success is debunking outdated ideas about alternative schools' curriculum. The alternative education programs of the 1950s and 1960s—what some might have called diploma or GED mills—are a thing of the past. Stewart insists that the online courses, which are aligned with Round Rock ISD's curriculum and have been tested by a number of people in the district, are rigorous and require a great deal of time and efort from the students. "We know for some students, the traditional way of teaching works," she says. "But we also know that the students are technology natives and they are coming to us doing far more online and empowering themselves." Success High School is not only accountable for all of the state tests but also participates in the state-legislated program designed to improve student success in college, Texas Success Initiative, and the ApplyTexas project for college admissions. "Parents might come in with an older version of what an alternative school is in their minds, but when they fnd out that the testing is the same and that we are sending kids to take the ACT and the SAT, they are impressed," she says. "We talk to them about the next step after secondary for their child. It's a paradigm shift in thinking." FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING One of the biggest draws of Success High School for students and parents is fexibility in terms of scheduling. Success is open 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well as 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. At Success, every teacher and every subject are continuously available. Stewart says that when a student is struggling in a particular subject, the school's fexible scheduling allows the student to spend more time receiving help in the challenging class. The educators at Success are experts at diagnosing when a student needs additional time or additional

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