I've been in AYW since January and I am very glad I found the school. I had dropped out the previous year and needed either GED assistance or my diploma as soon as possible. All the teachers are very helpful, intelligent, and funny. The students get along well with the teachers, from what I've seen. I would recommend this school to anyone in need of a fast diploma or GED.
I had the remarkable opportunity to teach at AYW for two years. I learned more and grew more as a professional in those years than I have in all my other years of teaching. The students are remarkable and amazing people, many of whom have had to face some daunting trials in life at a very young age, while others are individuals who simply did not thrive in the big institutions such as AISD. The staff is top notch and among some ofthe most caring and well prepared professionals I've had the good fortune to work with. Despite the extreme mobility of the students and the funding challenges this is a remarkable environment filled with people who have, perhaps, more promise and talent than most. If you are looking for an alternative to the traditional burocratic system and a personal, caring, family environment this is an amazing program!
The concept is fairly new, the school is newer. The creation had to begin before all the i's were dotted. They had to save lives as soon as the program was able to run. All envolved are there to do just that. The students are people who would drag on to the earths rotation without help to become mature, capable, loving adults. When the funding is fully there, this school will teach and save more than many, and the earth will spin more freely.
My son just completed his first year at AYW and I can summarize by saying this school has turned him around 360 from his AISD experience. He didn't think he would graduate from high school (did not think himself smart enough) much less go on to colleg. He is now making good grades and discussing colleges with me... making plans for his future. While the school is not perfect, it was the answer for my son. The ratings may not be great but the focus is on the immediate needs of these kids that would have walked away from school. TAKS scores do not reflect the accomplishments happening and the lives being changed at this school! I am attending all parent meetings as well as board meetings. Hopefully more parents will become involved and we can help make this an even better school for our children.
We are very impressed with this school. It allows for students that have left regular high school to get their diploma - not just because of behavior but also those that have a true medical diagnosis that caused them to leave high school in the first place. The academic programs are very good - not tons of classes but all the ones necessary to graduate - even with recommended. There are various activities through the student council for participation and community service work is recommended. It is a no-frills school, so there are not music,arts and sports which aren't necessary in todays world anyway for succeeding. Parent involvement is not what it should be - but those of us that are involved are working with the school to help encourage better parent involvement.