SWS (School Within a School)
WHAT IS SWS?
The SWS program is essentially a smaller version of Parker. Same curriculum. Same diploma. Not identifiers on transcripts. This program was developed to provide an alternative for students who have found the traditional school setting challenging for a variety of reasons. The underlying goal of the SWS Program is to help students change and improve their lives. Each student is given an opportunity to evaluate his/her educational and life goals. The SWS Program is designed to help each student become a confident, self-supporting member of society.
Here are 5 facts about the SWS program:
1. Offerings. The curriculum is exactly the same, we are just in a smaller setting. Classes have about 10-15 kids per class. We offer all the core classes plus a couple others. Classes that we offer: All four years of English, four science courses, three Social Studies courses, three Math courses, Personal Responsibility, Freshman Seminar, Teen Leadership, Personal Finance, Work Experience, and Credit Recovery(online courses).
2. Enhanced Curriculum. We also do a lot of cross curricular things with English and History. Example: in history students are learning about the 1920s while in English they are reading The Great Gatsby. Then both the English teacher and the US History teacher talk and discuss about each other’s material to tie themes together to enhance student knowledge and understanding.
3. Support. We also offer a class called Personal Responsibility (PR) that is a structured study hall that students earn credit for. Here students are able to get caught up on classwork, set goals with the teacher, work on organizational skills, communication skills, and planning and preparing for life beyond Parker High School. The teacher goes over grades with the students a couple times a week to stay on top of grades. The teacher communicates with other teachers in and out of our program, so they and students can stay up to date on what needs to be done in class. In PR their senior year, we take class time to talk about and work with the counselors on applying for college, scholarships, and internships. We have speakers come in to discuss taxes, banking, apartment leasing, etc.
4. Communication. Our program also has a secretary that stays on top of attendance and communicates very well between parents and staff. Communication works quicker and more effectively with having Mrs. Ruchti as our secretary. SWS staff meet weekly to ensure the success of each student and to communicate effectively with parents/guardians.
5. Guidance. We also have two other staff members, Ms. Dunkin, our social worker, and Mr. McCalmont, a graduation coach, to work and meet with our students regarding school, graduation, mental health, etc. School guidance counselors also make weekly appearances to ensure our students are adjusting to Parker and can assist with schedule changes, if necessary.