Title

Cobb Horizon HIgh School, The new face of Alternative Education

First Presenter's Institution

Cobb Horizon HIgh School

Second Presenter's Institution

Cobb County Schools

Third Presenter's Institution

CObb Horizon High School

Fourth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fifth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Location

Session 7 (Westbrook)

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

In education today, “alternative programs” are many times looked at as the ugly stepchild and simply an after-thought as a “second chance” for students and educators when the traditional high school experience is not successful. In this session, we will present how the Cobb County School District took the leap of faith to create an academic alternative school, Cobb Horizon High School.

Cobb Horizon High School is a non-traditional, academic alternative high school that was established to meet the needs of a growing population of non-traditional, at-risk, and credit deficient students. In this session, we will highlight the process of developing an academic alternative high school, share tools and strategies that have been an integral part of building our school culture and program, as well as our first-year successes and struggles.

Brief Program Description

In education today, “alternative programs” are many times looked at as the ugly stepchild and simply an after-thought as a “second chance” for students and educators when the traditional high school experience is not successful. In this session, we will present how the Cobb County School District took the leap of faith to create an academic alternative school, Cobb Horizon High School.

Cobb Horizon High School is a non-traditional, academic alternative high school that was established to meet the needs of a growing population of non-traditional, at-risk, and credit deficient students. In this session, we will highlight the process of developing an academic alternative high school, share tools and strategies that have been an integral part of building our school culture and program, as well as our first-year successes and struggles.

Summary

In education today, “alternative programs” are many times looked at as the ugly stepchild and simply an after-thought as a “second chance” for students and educators when the traditional high school experience is not successful. In this session, we will present how the Cobb County School District took the leap of faith to create an academic alternative school, Cobb Horizon High School.

Cobb Horizon High School is a non-traditional, academic alternative school that is available to Cobb County students to empower them to earn their high school diplomas. Students may apply to attend Cobb Horizon instead of their designated Cobb County high school if an alternative path is needed to earn a high school diploma. Students at Cobb Horizon choose to attend our school due to a variety of reasons such as a need to improve their academic performance, work or family commitments that conflict with the hours of their high school, various social reasons, and some who have transferred from a school out of district and need additional credits to graduate.

Cobb Horizon utilizes an instructional format that is based on a blended model and our daily schedule differs greatly from that of a typical high school. Coursework is primarily completed through the GRADPOINT online platform with each certified teacher supporting and supplementing instruction through active offline instruction, individualized assignments, and group instruction. Students work at their own pace and, in many cases, able to accelerate their learning and earning of credits.

This session will highlight the process of developing a brand new academic alternative school, the strategies involved in building our program, as well as our first-year struggles and successes. We will share actionable strategies that can be borrowed, adapted, and put into practice to create a positive, safe, alternative academic environment where students can earn their high school diploma in a blended, non-traditional setting while focusing on providing our students the support they need to maximize instructional time and ensure student success.

Working together as a team: students, parents, administration, teachers, counselors, and support staff have been able to establish Cobb Horizon High School a place where students become enthusiastic learners, team players, and secure the required credits and real-life soft skills that will enable them to succeed and thrive upon graduation and into the next phase of their young adult lives.

Evidence

Research has shown that there are five common features for any successful alternative school. The five are listed below and were important in the development of Cobb Horizon High School.

1.They were small 2.Both the program and organization were designed by those who were going to operate them 3.Teachers all chose the program, with subsequent teachers selected with the input of present administration and Staff 4.Their students and families chose the program 5.All of the programs were relatively free from district interference, buffered from the demands of the central office, and the superintendent/central office protected the integrity of the alternative school Additionally, three factors have been proven to help make alternative school successful and Cobb Horizon is committed and dedicated to each of them as we continue to move forward. The three factors are: to generate and maintain a sense of community within them, to make learning engaging, and to provide the school organization and structure needed to sustain the first two.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

John Kelly is in his 27th year in education. He has been a high school principal for 8 years in Cobb County, and is in his second year as Principal of Cobb Horizon High School. Prior to becoming a principal, he served as an assistant principal and athletic director for 8 years and was a teacher and coach before moving into administration.

Ed Wagner has served the Cobb County School District as an Assistant Superintendent for 5 years. Prior to moving into his current position, he served as a principal as Sprayberry and Kell High Schools.

Chris Jackson is in his 6th year as an assistant principal and his second at Cobb Horizon High School. Prior to his current position, he worked in Paulding County as a middle school assistant principal and was math teacher and head basketball coach as well.

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-10-2020 2:45 PM

End Date

3-10-2020 4:00 PM

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Mar 10th, 2:45 PM Mar 10th, 4:00 PM

Cobb Horizon HIgh School, The new face of Alternative Education

Session 7 (Westbrook)

In education today, “alternative programs” are many times looked at as the ugly stepchild and simply an after-thought as a “second chance” for students and educators when the traditional high school experience is not successful. In this session, we will present how the Cobb County School District took the leap of faith to create an academic alternative school, Cobb Horizon High School.

Cobb Horizon High School is a non-traditional, academic alternative high school that was established to meet the needs of a growing population of non-traditional, at-risk, and credit deficient students. In this session, we will highlight the process of developing an academic alternative high school, share tools and strategies that have been an integral part of building our school culture and program, as well as our first-year successes and struggles.