Here at Pathways, we are devoted to student success. From the first day of school to the last day of school we are privileged to work with students from around the county who, for one reason or another, have been displaced from their home schools. They are a very diverse group, coming from a variety of ethnicities, traditions, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds. Trouble at home, at school, or in the neighborhoods in which they live, has slowed their academic process and made the odds of them succeeding in their education very slim. These are the kids we are privileged to work with, these are the kids we love.
Sometimes it is just a matter of showing them they have someone who cares about them, before they begin to come around and continue their educational journey. Other times we need to find different ways of getting through to them. At times it seems we are given the easy task of just helping a student who really does well in school, but has made mistakes that brought them to us for a short time. In other cases, we are given students who do not "fit in" at other schools. In either case, we do what is necessary to make our kids feel loved, cared for, and a "part" of our world. In certain cases, there is the task of re-building their self-esteem and their confidence - that is the best part of all. Because at Pathways Academy we, as a staff, have chosen our roles in the rebuilding process. We are here not just to have a job, but because WE WANT TO BE HERE. That is the key to our success.
Throughout the year we have kids that transition back to their home schools. We continue to monitor their progress and to help them in whatever way we can. We see them from time to time and are proud of how far they have come. We also have kids that decide they want to stay with us because they thrive in our environment -- a lower student to teacher ratio that gives them much more individual attention. Whatever the case, we continue to let them know we are there to help them along the way. The best part of our job comes when a student sees us in the community, at their home school, or during an especially good moment right in our backyard, and puts their arm around us to let us know what we are doing is working. Speaking for my colleagues, there is no better reward.
Pathways Academy is an alternative setting where students are offered smaller classes, readily available adult intervention, and counseling services. Our goal is to help students remain in school while they work on a plan of action which will return them to their home school setting.