Mr. Dennie Ross was serving as vice principal for Shelton High School when it became apparent to him that many students' needs were not being met there. So, in 1983 he formed a volunteer committee to look into starting and running an alternative high school in Shelton and as a result of these efforts our school opened in 1984 with two teachers, one secretary and about forty students. Today CHOICE has about 27 staff members and serves as many as 300 students at any one time.
CHOICE is an acronym for Challenging High School Opportunities in Continuing Education. CHOICE is fully accredited with the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, offers a high school diploma, and our students are able to participate in all district activities.
CHOICE offers an opportunity for students to take responsibility for their own education. The learning system at CHOICE is designed to allow students and teachers flexibility in determining and reaching their goals. Progress is dependent upon students' successful completion of a graduation rubric, designed by the CHOICE staff and implemented between students and their advisors. In order for a rubric item to be checked off, all the requirements must be met with at least 80% proficiency and/or quality standard. The requirements are usually fulfilled in the form of a project that the student works with the teach to design. The time it takes for a student to achieve their goals varies depending upon many factors.
Students track their academic progress and attendance at three-week intervals during an individual student, parent and advisor conference known as "check-in". In using this performance-based system, we strive to promote the best possible environment for the unique population we serve, focusing our attention on developing relationships with every student in our efforts to help them achieve the ultimate goal of earning a high school diploma. At the same time, an exceptionally motivated student may advance towards graduation at a much faster pace than would be allowed in the traditional system. At the same time, progress toward graduation is often hindered by a variety of factors that range from impossible living conditions resulting in gross skills deficiencies to plain laziness. Counseling and alternative programs within our alternative program are available to help students get back on track. We recognize that ultimately the choice to accept and participate in what we offer lies within each individual student.
Our motto is Respect Yourself and the Rights of Others. This is defined under the Full Value Contract as explained in more detail later in this handbook. These operating principles encourage students to develop and practice empathy, consideration of others, effective communication, goal setting, problem solving and interpersonal skills. We believe these skills are the tools students can use to become good, productive citizens.
Once again, on behalf of the entire school, welcome to CHOICE! Our staff, students and friends consider CHOICE to be more like a family than an institution. We hope you like our web site!!!
The CHOICE Staff