The Puyallup School District plans to launch an effort this year to re-engage students who have dropped out, hoping to draw them back and help them earn their diploma or GED.
“We’ve identified 1,300 eligible students in our district,” said Mary Jo Harvey, the new director of homeschool and continuing education. “We’re going to contact these students to see if they’re interested in this program. Some may have received their degree already through another program.”
Students who qualify for the program, called Open Doors, must be 16 to 21 years old by Sept. 1. Harvey said a counselor will talk to interested students to find out how many credits they need.
“If they are 19 or 20 and credit deficient, then earning their GED might be better for them,” Harvey said.
Harvey said students who enroll in the program will be able to earn credits through a combination of on-campus instruction and online classes.
Harvey, who came from the Meridian School District outside of Bellingham, said she will be involved in launching the Puyallup Parent Partnership Program.
“When I started with this program at Meridian School District, there were 40 students enrolled,” Harvey said. “At the height of the program, there were 1,000.”
The P4 program, as it’s called, will provide another option for parents who want to homeschool their children and need curricula and instruction assistance.
“Classes at school will be smaller and will be made up of all homeschool students,” Harvey said.
A storefront location in Puyallup will be rented and utilized for classroom instruction, Harvey said. In addition, parents will have their own mentor-teacher, who will offer professional development.
Harvey said Open Doors and P4 sustain themselves.
“We don’t use any bond or levy money,” she said. “These are completely state-funded programs.”
For example, the state-funded allocation per student for P4 is $5,200, she said.
“I love reaching each student, whatever end of the continuum they’re on,” Harvey said. “Whatever their circumstances, we’re here to reach every student and not leave anyone out.”
For more information, call Harvey at 253-841-8630 or look under the programs tab on the Puyallup School District website.Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.