MOUNT VERNON — The newly instituted
Mount Vernon Academic Program, or MVaP, is a self-contained program at Mount
Vernon High School. A school within in a school, it is designed to be an academically
focused environment with continuous supervision and support. The students won’t
have any other distractions and will be able to focus their attention on one
single class, if that’s what they need.
“We recognized that some students do not do well in a traditional classroom setting, for a number of reasons,” explained Assistant Principal Sam Shuman, “What we’ve tried to do with MVaP is create an independent, student-centered type of instructional setting where we meet their individual needs, whether they lack credits due to irregular attendance, poor social interactions and/or poor study habits.”
Shuman said MVaP students, who can be involved in clubs, sports, drama and other extracurricular activities, are going to be able to earn regular credits, elective credits and physical education credits. “We are creatively meeting all of their academic needs,” Shuman said. “Our teachers can be involved directly with MVaP, and we think that’s an advantage. We’re using Nova Net courses, we’re utilizing teacher-created curricular materials, we’re utilizing online remedial courses. All of the online courses offer standards-based credits. That’s important to us because we wanted to be connected with our curriculum and also with what the state and federal requirements are.”
MVaP is not a punitive placement, Shuman said.
“It’s an academic placement. It’s a positive success placement. The students have a lot of freedom within that setting. It’s a very self-directed program. We’re telling them what they have to do to meet their goals, and we’re providing them the necessary materials and support. Then we’re allowing them to choose. One student might say, ‘Today I’ll do my English.’ or, ‘I’ll do my math. If I want to do math all day, I’ll do that.’ As long as they’re working toward their goals, that’s all right.”
Individual goals for each student will vary, but the overall goal for students is to earn their diploma.