Healthy Alternative Schools and Community Partnerships Initiative
Valley Pathways indicated gains in attendance rates, graduation rates, and in the number of credits earned each year, as well as increases in the number of health/PE classes offered and the number of students participating in healthy activities as the primary successes it linked to its involvement in the Alternative Schools Initiative. Valley Pathways’ PE efforts were particularly successful with participants’ school day attendance increasing from 83% to 96% after they began participating in the program. PE credits increased 25% from the previous year, and the program has been a tremendous incentive for students to maintain good academic standing. Valley Pathways also began preparation to develop and offer a comprehensive PE/Health curriculum. Valley Pathways was able to obtain a certified Health Teacher to teach health class, implement a “Healthy Foods Reward System”, and continue to grow its tremendously popular innovative partnership with a community Sports Complex to increase both student physical activity and number of PE credits earned. These offerings have contributed a decrease in student disciplinary incidents and an increase in student attendance. In the 2011-2012 school year Valley Pathways expanded its community partnership with the ATT Sports Center to provide physical activity opportunities in the community to even more of its students (the school has no gymnasium). Moreover, this partnership was so successful that ATT duplicated this model with other schools and agencies generating a health enhancing community-wide impact. Valley Pathways also used this grant to provide adolescent AA meetings, to provide glass art workshops, to coordinate with the Valley Homeless Coalition, and to generate a faith-based partnership with the Trinity church to provide lunch to students at school, to provide students with shelter, laundry facilities, and safe activities on the weekends, and to provide students with assistance acquiring jobs.
In the 2012-2013 school year, Valley Pathways hired a Tutor/Advisor to keep in daily contact with absent students and/or their parents to encourage establishing a routine of good attendance. Students were encouraged to participate in physical activity with student gym memberships and offered sponsorship and supplies for healthy activities. All staff completed training on Suicide Awareness and Prevention.