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Specialized High School Programs

Columbia Alternate Program

The Columbia Alternate Program (CAP) is designed to serve approximately 50 students who have demonstrated a combination of at-risk characteristics including academic failures, school discipline issues, family or community difficulties. Students must meet Columbia High School’s and New York State Regents’ graduation requirements to receive their high school diploma.

CAP has proven to be an effective program for several reasons:

  • Small class size allows for individualized instruction
  • Self-Leadership class – focusing on self-concept and teen issues
  • Academic remediation and independent study opportunities
  • Department Chair to monitor overall student progress
  • CAP Social Worker to assist with student challenges
  • Small group counseling opportunities
  • CAP Principal to assist with program management, community opportunities and student discipline
  • Teacher Assistant and Attendance Monitor to work with students and families

Center for Therapeutic Academic Excellence Program

CTAEP is a small, school-within-a-school concept for high school students who require a more supportive, therapeutic setting to meet graduation requirements. Students who have been overwhelmed in the traditionally larger high school setting or who have school-related anxiety thrive in our alternative setting with small classes and highly individualized attention from our staff.

  • CTAEP serves 12-24 students from grades 9-12 at the garden level of Bell Top Elementary School.
  • Students are located in a separate area from the elementary program and are provided with transportation to and from the program each day.
  • The program follows the Columbia High School curriculum based on the Common Core Learning Standards and students work towards earning a New York State Regents Diploma.
  • A full-time psychologist is on staff to provide counseling support and assist students in acquiring lifelong strategies for maintaining a healthy balance between schoolwork and personal demands.
  • Each student develops a plan for building coping strategies, developing productive routines and gaining confidence.
  • There is a strong home-school connection and frequent communication between staff and families regarding each student’s individualized plan. Parents are provided regular updates on their child’s progress.

JumpStart

JumpStart is a specialized program for freshmen that provides students with academic, social and emotional support to ease the transition into high school. The program is a combination of classes in a small group setting (Math, English, Social Studies and Science) and mainstreamed classes (Art, Music, PE and Lunch).

  • Instructional Support Class provides organizational and academic support, and is used to administer test modifications for students with IEP’s.
  • A Literacy Teacher and Speech Therapist provide direct consultant teacher support in the English class.
  • In an attempt to create independence and diversity of instruction, students have core teachers for Social Studies, Science and English in a small group setting. Core classes are supported by the Support Teacher and/or Teaching Assistant.

Operation Graduation

Operation Graduation is designed as a small learning community within Columbia High School to work exclusively with 12th graders who are at-risk of not meeting their graduation requirements (11th graders may be enrolled in unusual cases).

  • Students take all classes in one room that is separated from the other students in the building.
  • Students enter and exit the building from a separate door adjacent to the room and are provided with transportation to fit the unique schedule of the program.
  • The school day starts at 8:15 a.m. and is the length at which the individual student’s academic needs dictate. Each class is 30 minutes in length. Students may be enrolled in all day OG classes and/or CHS courses as needed.
  • Mandatory community service participation is also required.

The program is staffed by one Special Education teacher (program leader), one Teaching Assistant, and part-time Math, Social Studies, Physical Education and Science teachers. The program also utilizes counseling support within Columbia High School, and has a contract with a consultant who works with students and staff two hours per week to educate students about opportunities for work, college and life beyond high school. The program is administered by one of the Assistant Principals of Columbia High School.