Scope of the Program
The Faribault Area Learning Center High School (FALC) curriculum is centered around a belief that all students must learn to be independent thinkers and valuable members of society. Self direction, choice of electives, a strong commitment to employability skills development and career exploration assures that students will explore opportunities leading ultimately to self-sufficiency.
Students are scheduled into classes which are mandated by secondary school graduation requirements. Every effort, however, is made to keep class sizes down. FALC recognizes that a wide student ability range requires teachers to pay attention to individual differences, and to provide a course content that can be student paced.
The electives offered at the FALC do much to meet the special needs and interests of its students, but additional elective course offering would be beneficial to the program. Students who need counseling, or social service assistance, child care, or job placement help are provided for directly by FALC or referred to appropriate helping services within, and occasionally outside of the community.
A logical development of student skills, knowledge, and attitudes must begin with a reasonably accurate assessment of student strengths and weaknesses. Some formal testing is math and language arts, along with Vocational interest assessments occurs at Faribault Area Learning Center High School. However, the tests and procedures used are targeted for improvement.
FALC relies heavily on its teachers and work experience coordinators to provide learning experiences which have practical application in the "real" world outside of school. The self-paced nature of the FALC program, combined with a supportive learning environment, insures that each student will make progress in all developmental areas of learning.
Integration of Learning Skills
Individual student skills, attitudes, interests, and knowledge are variables in any subject area classroom. It is a major goal of the Faribault Area Learning Center High School to provide for these differences.
All subject area teachers are present at staff meetings and considerable sharing of student strengths and weaknesses can and does occur. The employability skills seminar in particular is designed to incorporate skills taught in other subject areas as they pertain to the work environment.
Performance Expectations for Students
Students are expected to attend classes daily and are expected to be on task while in the classroom. Students must earn a minimum of 30 hours per quarter in each class in order to receive 1/4 credit toward graduation. In addition to their regularly scheduled classes, students enrolled in individual study are scheduled to meet with an instructor two hours per week per subject.
There are no excused absences. Students are afforded an opportunity to make up absences or earn additional credit through individual study, Friday make up classes and/or enrollment in the 3:15 P.M. seminar class.
Provisions for Students with Special Learning Needs
Attempts are made to keep class sizes small in order to allow the student to receive a more personalized educational program. The curriculum is non-competitive, thereby affording the student opportunity to progress at his/her own speed. Counseling services are offered by a certified social worker and three work experience coordinators who have extensive counseling backgrounds.
The program of studies promotes the affective development of students in several ways. In the work experience class the identification and expression of feelings are addressed on a regular basis through discussion and group interaction.
Faribault Area Learning Center High School is licensed by the Minnesota State Department of Education. All teachers employed in the Faribault Area Learning Center High School are certified by the State of Minnesota.
Personalized Education Approach
The instructional delivery system is based on a personalized educational approach. Class work is self-paced and attempts are made to keep the pupil per teacher ratio small in order to meet each student's needs and abilities.
Vocational assessment leading to career exploration is accomplished at FALC through the evaluation of student's direct work experience and the administration of the Act Discover series and the MCIS miroskills worksheet.
Although teaching procedures will vary somewhat, in general, the teachers in the (FALC) program are well aware of the importance of personalized instruction for "at risk" youth. Since the program's student population represents a wide range of ability, a significant number of in-class assignments are self-paced learning packets. This is most noticeable true in the English and Social Studies class rooms.
In addition, the Work Experience Seminar class devotes considerable time to small and large group discussions and cooperative learning activities. These activities help to develop social skills, as well as provide for learning experience variety. Individual teachers at FALC are provided with opportunities to develop materials and methods suitable to the student population.