October 1, 2015—More than two dozen Cohoes High School students are enrolled in an alternative learning program to help keep them on the path to graduation. The PAGE program focuses on academic needs, attendance, behavior needs, character education and social needs. The program is made up of students in grades 10-12 who were referred by a teacher, counselor, social worker, school psychologist or principal. The students in the program learn the same curriculum as their peers and are held to the same standards, but their learning is done in a small classroom setting with a tightknit support system.
“We provide a different avenue for any type of student willing to put in the work to graduate on time with a Regents diploma,” Teaching Assistant Dominick Bondi said. “We have flexibility in our schedule and classes to allow them to work at their own pace.”
The PAGE program, now in its third year, is seeing success as it continues to grow. When the program was established two years ago, it was housed in the district building at Page Avenue and had eight students and one social studies teacher. This year, the program has expanded and moved to a larger space at the high school. Now, an entire group of teachers is assigned to the program to help teach and monitor student progress each day.
“Not only does this program help get our students back on track to graduate on time, we’ve seen an improvement in their attendance, academic achievement and their overall attitude toward school,” Math Teacher Gabrielle White said.
All students in the PAGE program have an individualized educational program based on previous credit earned and credits required to transition back to the regular educational program and/or graduate from Cohoes High School.
“Our mission is to provide a personalized academic learning environment, for targeted students, which promotes self-discipline and the college and career skills needed to be on track to graduate,” Superintendent Jennifer Spring said. “We believe in our students and we are willing to do whatever it takes in terms of a support system to make sure each student graduates with his or her Regents diploma.”