Our students are a group of diverse learners who have faced several barriers in their personal and educational journey. While all of them come from low-income households and have struggled to be successful in traditional high school settings, many of them have also had complex trauma histories and continue to face day-to-day obstacles preventing them from getting their basic needs met. Community violence, caring for younger siblings, witnessing domestic violence, food insecurity, and housing insecurity are among the many challenges our students are all too familiar with.
Despite their adversaries, our students model resilience, integrity, scholarship, and empowerment, and strive to not only achieve a high school diploma, but also goals as a lifelong learner and active member of society.
As a competency-based and trauma-sensitive school, we aim to provide our students with a safe, supportive, and educationally appropriate environment. Our students engage through hybrid learning models to meet students where they are in their learning. They’re able to access the curriculum through challenging and relevant content, experiential education, community service experiences, work-study opportunities, and project-based and capstone assessments. Through this model, our students can access an education and experience success and genuine self-worth.
"Food to Fuel Learning" is more than a clever gesture to help boost our students thinking capacity and ability to focus, though both are essential benefits of food. The reality is far too many of our students report feeling hunger at all hours of the day. For several students, who frequently report not eating since leaving school, food is the motivating factor for them to school. While we strive to have students eager and ready to start their day ready to learn, we recognize that it is not always the case. Because of this, we aim to have a safe and welcoming community where the whole-student is supported and has their needs met as much as possible.
“...Before students can excel at their full potential, we must ensure their basic needs are met,” Tony Kline, Ph.D.
While our school has an adequate lunch program, it does not often appeal to the palates of our students, nor does it accommodate our student’s hunger during non-lunch and after school hours. The food included in this cart was chosen for the protein and carbohydrate content, helping students combat hunger for longer. Additionally, the food is appealing to students so that eating is both a necessary and enjoyable experience. The non-perishable items, such as Quaker Grits, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Ramen, Kellogg's cereal, and Rice a Roni will allow our students to take food to go and prevent them from skipping yet another meal when they are outside of school. All the food items included will help support our students get their basic needs met; a small gesture with a lasting impact.
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