About the Program
The idea for this program was sparked in the spring of 2016 by Kelly VanLaeken, former Gananda High School principal and current Gananda Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment, and Dr. Leslie Maloney, Penfield High School principal. They recognized a need for an alternative approach to teaching and learning for at-risk secondary students in this area. And so, they started this amazing collaborative effort between both districts to create a program that could meet the needs of students with a variety of academic and social-emotional needs.
For the 2019-2020 school year, the program is open to students in 11th and 12th grades only. Currently, students from 5 districts in the area attend the high school program. The intent is to grow the program to support 9th-12th grade students but we are being purposeful and strategic by starting small. We want to make sure we create a quality program for our students and starting small will increase our ability to do that.
The program will be housed in Gananda's former district office area, which is an annex attached to Gananda Middle School. The address to the school is 1500 Dayspring Ridge in Walworth.
A small class setting provides more individual attention while taking students' unique qualities, goals and life circumstances into consideration. Dedicated teachers and a program counselor form positive relationships with the students, parents, their families and community health professionals to ensure all the students' needs are being met. Class sizes are typically no larger than a 10:1 ratio.
All core subjects are taught and specials/electives (i.e., physical education, health, etc.) will be provided based on the needs of the students. The curriculum is aligned to the New York State Common Core and students work on Regents-level coursework. Some students may participate in vocational or work-based learning education programs.
There is a strong emphasis on personalized learning and interdisciplinary projects to promote student engagement across the content areas.
Gananda/Penfield Alternative Education Program