Healthy Alternative Schools and Community Partnerships Initiative
S.A.V.E High School
SAVE identified increases in its graduation and attendance rates, increases in number of credits obtained, decreases in youth risk behaviors, and increases in professional development, curriculum development, and course offerings on health are some of the achievements it has attained related to its involvement in the Alternative Schools Initiative. Highlights of SAVE’s activities included the development of a year-long health program, a first ever Alaska Health Fair for students complete with defrayed costs for those choosing to have blood work, strengthening of its PE program through equipment purchases, and improved collaboration/information sharing with other Alternative Schools through site visits. S.A.V.E. also provided staff with Health Education professional development, provided a First Aid/CPR class, and noted increases in graduation rate, increased attendance, and fewer teen pregnancies. In the 2011-2012 school year, S.A.V.E. conducted four Youth Cooking classes to teach students how to budget for and cook nutritional meals and provided health instruction to all 225 of its students with the support of this grant. S.A.V.E. also conducted a health fair with more than 50 exhibits, vision testing, hearing tests, blood pressure monitoring, blood work, and career exhibits. S.A.V.E. also delivered a constellation of healthy activities for youth funded by this initiative, initiating an after school activities program that offered an activity one day per week, reaching more than 30 students each week.
In the 2012-2013 school year, highlights of SAVE’s activities included the development of classes offered during lunch (gym, crafts, cooking healthy snacks, winter gear and safety, and games), allowing students to participate in healthy activities while earning credits in a unique learning environment. SAVE does not have a school lunch program, but due to the Alternative Schools Initiative, lunch was offered during the classes in which more than 50 students attended each of the three sessions. An Extended School Year was offered for seven days during the summer, allowing students to complete courses and earn additional credits. Students and teachers attended a school-wide assembly with Rachel’s Challenge to increase awareness of school climate and suicide prevention. From the assembly, students created FOR (Friends of Rachel) fostering student leadership, community service and a more positive school climate. Due to the Alternative Schools Initiative, SAVE was able to purchase equipment for healthy student activities (bicycles, snowshoes, PE equipment), food for lunch classes and school-wide events, and bus passes for students.