Posted by Shawn Strader on Jul 01, 2015 - 07:27 AM
Far too often, many of us are caught in the belief that what makes a service or program valuable is if it serves a vast amount of people. That right there may be one of the leading symptoms of why our education system at large is continually offering low quality services to so many young people around America. We resist placing value on what serves individuals, and instead seek to solve the question: "How can we deliver quality to everyone in one fell swoop?"
Meaningful, quality education takes many forms across a broad spectrum of formats - it has to in order to provide exceptional learning experiences for the wildly diverse amount of personalities, backgrounds, and psychologies of America's youth. Small alternative high schools like North Hills Prep are able to specialize and cater to a demographic of young people who need something more specific than a one-size-fits-all learning approach that many public schools espouse.
What I loved most about North Hills was that I didn't feel like as much of an outsider as I had at my former schools. I was around other teens who could relate to me. We swapped psych ward anecdotes and compared medications. We discussed each other's scars, both inside and out. We knew that each of us was at North Hills for a reason, and those reasons pulled us together against the rest of the world.
There are students who suffer much more than they have to because their personal and educational needs aren't being met at traditional high schools. They need to be in an environment that will help them feel safe and recover.
Alana Saltz, former student at North Hills Prep
Check out Alana's original post on Huff Post Education titled, How an Alternative High School Saved My Life - it's a strong example of what education can and sometimes should look like. Do you have other examples? Share them in the comments below.