Jenn Dombrowski is on a mission, to tell the public about a new idea for high school education, the Widening Advancements for Youth (WAY) program.
Dombrowski is employed as a WAY mentor in the Vicksburg school system, which currently has 60 students and ten mentors. Pilot programs are also in Watervliet and Niles. WAY is classified a 501(c)(3) non-profit Public Charity."It's working out well in Vicksburg, and we're hoping to get other districts interested. I guess I'm spreading the word," she laughed. "WAY is the best thing to happen in education. It is for (all students, ranging from) the at risk student to the gifted," she said. " Students are still counted as being in their district, and they're eligible for sports, and can graduate with their class."
One perk of the program is each student is provided with a MAC computer in Vicksburg. "After earning 18 credit hours and two years, you can keep your computer."
WAY is a nonprofit program currently operating in 11 sites in more than 100 Michigan school districts that specializes in b ringing blended, persoalized, project-based learning to schools. It offers an innovative approach to education, one that encourages self-esteem, independence and development of 21st century skills that will facilitate a college education and subsequent career paths.
Each student has multiple levels of personalized support in the WAY model. Students explore his/her equipment and learns to navigate the online learning environment. WAY staff members conduct a follow up home visit to ensure that the student can access the learning environment from home. Once they are enrolled in the program, students have access to the online learning 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Staff are available online 24 hours a day. A team leader conducts home visits and oversees all aspects of the student's education. A Middle School curriculum, program WAY Forward is also available. It utilizes the national Common Core State Standards and Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations. Students earn High School credit while completing components of their Middle School curriculum.