Gates Chili's Alternative Education is dedicated to each student’s academic, physical, emotional and social development to ensure that each student graduates and has the skills to become independent life-long learners.
An analogy that helps explain why we have alternative education:
- Everyone carries around an invisible backpack that holds rocks. Everyone has rocks in their backpack. The size may vary from pebbles to boulders and the quantity may vary from a few to a backpack that is overflowing with pebbles, rocks and boulders. The rocks represent stressors in our lives that we carry with us everywhere we go.
- Most adults have self-management and problem solving skills that help them compartmentalize stressors so they do not interfere with daily functions such as work, physical or mental health, relationships etc. Some adults assume that students have the necessary skills to not allow their stressors to impact other aspects of their lives like school, and their relationship with themselves and others.
- The fact that some students will struggle academically, or socially/emotionally throughout high school, is not a profound statement. Students come to school carrying their rocks and usually some of their family’s rocks, pebbles, or boulders as well. Gates Chili Alternative Education gives students the opportunity to experience academic success while learning lifelong skills on how to manage their backpack.
Crossroads is the Regents content alternative education program at Gates Chili High School, which services students in grades 9-12.
The Crossroads Program is a “school –within a school” that strives to provide the additional support these students need in order to succeed. It was designed to meet the individual needs of students, who have, for a variety of social, emotional or academic reasons, not met with success within a traditional high school setting.
Crossroads provides numerous experiences and opportunities for students to reinvest themselves into their education, experience success, and meet New York State Learning Standards and earn a high school Regents Diploma.
Students are held to the same NYS standards as all other general education students however, there are significant differences from the traditional classroom setting.
- These include:
- reduced class sizes,
- individual teacher attention,
- evidenced based social /emotional curriculum
- a family like atmosphere, individualized success plans, adult and peer mentoring,
- regular parental contact,
- long and short term goal setting,
- additional social emotional services available on a as needed basis.
All of the staff members that are in the program have been hand selected for their position. They are all highly qualified in their specific content area and use a variety of researched based teaching strategies and behavior management techniques that are appropriate for the population of students they serve.
The Crossroads team collaborates to monitor all student achievement and progress. The team also promotes community involvement using service learning as a teaching and learning strategy to teach civic responsibility and promote character building.
Teacher instruction integrates life skills (e.g., career preparation, citizenship, conflict resolution, decision making skills, problem solving, public speaking, self-management, social skills, team work, time management, work-based learning, etc.) into the curricula and affords the student with opportunities to put the acquired skills into action.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. ~~Robert Frost