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PHS Genesis Program Provides Students With A Second Chance
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08 September 2015   Deb Salcedo

Recaturing high school credits can happen at your own pace.

The beginning of a new school year brings excitement and renewed hope. As a revelation of that hope is the belief that we, as a district, commit to every child, every day. The Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) has put this belief into action by offering the Genesis Day program at Prescott High School (PHS). In a supported structured online environment students are able to work toward recapturing high school credits at their own pace.

Life happens, and the administration and faculty at PHS understand that there are numerous reasons students can fall behind in school. Instead of letting kids think they have failed or lost the opportunity to graduate, we are offering renewed hope by guiding them back on track to graduation. Some students have even taken on the challenge of working toward early graduation. We understood that some students behind in credits were feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with task of getting caught up. This frustration was turning into high absentee rates, negative behaviors, and equally frustrated parents who felt forced to constantly discipline and lecture their kids. So far, the best communication we can give to parent and child is that they are not alone in this challenge, hope is not lost, and, no, their child is not broken!

The online Genesis Day school wraps its program into two sessions, 7:30-12:30 or 12:30-5:30 a 5 hour a day, 4 days a week program with Fridays off. As a team of two, myself and math teacher Ray Reidburn, offer an online learning environment that provides an inspirational as well as academically challenging classroom that blends learning with goal setting, career exploration, and life experience. We feel it is important to help kids strengthen their confidence to sustain the momentum needed to complete their academic goals.

We asked kids to tell us why this program was important to them. Here are a sample of their responses: “They help us with our positive attitudes and our goals along the way”, “We are able to work at our own pace”, “the fact that we’re able to work ahead makes me enjoy this program much more”, “The Genesis program means that you are able to be successful”, “This is the starting point and the beginning of the rest of my life”, “This program is defining who I am as a person”, “I know getting my diploma is going to make such a great impact on the rest of my life”, “This program is really the most important thing in my life right now”, “I am finally working hard towards my diploma”, “The hours are nice for kids that have to go to work after school like I do”, and finally the one that really made me smile, “I like this class because I feel like the school system actually cares”. This program is putting the belief of every child, every day into action. For more information on the Genesis Program, please email me at deb.salcedo@prescottschools.com.