RSD welcomes ‘CHOICE’

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

Photo by Shari Milliken CHOICE students, Arthur Marty and Jonah Ferguson, journey to the top of the climbing wall during a Team building activity.
Beginning with the 2011/2012 school year both 9th and 10th grade students in Riverview now have an additional educational opportunity to improve their school commitment and increase their academic, personal, social and career growth. it is fittingly called the CHOICE Program, which stands for Choosing Heightened Options for Individually Centered Education.

The CHOICE program was initially created in theory in 2005 when a Secondary Alternative Educational committee recommended adding a 9th and 10th grade component to the already successful alternative CLIP Program at Cedarcrest High School. The committee felt that 9th and 10th grade students needed an alternative to the “one size fits all” educational experience.

CHOICE offers an alternative program focused on real-life, hands-on learning in a smaller classroom setting.

Some students may be credit deficient after their freshman year, caused by a number of things from social situations to learning style issues, to attendance concerns. This unique program allows for individualized attention for all students, meeting them wherever they are with regard to their educational experience.

Both the CHOICE and the CLIP programs are located in the newly constructed Riverview Learning Center located next to the district office building in Carnation.

The learning center is also home to the RSD PARADE Home School Program (Parents and Riverview Actively Delivering Education). The district is very proud to offer these vital alternative programs to meet the personalized needs of the students and parents in our communities. The district is also very grateful to community members for the support given to the passage of the bonds which allowed for the building of this innovative facility.

The CHOICE curriculum is oriented toward two integrated areas: STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and humanities (language arts, social studies, social sciences, and arts). The subjects of health and physical education will be offered as well.

The core teacher for the CHOICE program is Shari Milliken. Ms. Milliken brings a high level of experience to her students, both from the educational field and the vocational world. She has a passion to help all students to succeed and realize their potential at their own pace. Shari believes that creating a strong relationship between a student and their teacher is vitally important, and helps to nurture a healthy and resourceful classroom learning environment.

When asked about the programs currently available in CHOICE Shari commented: “There are many exciting opportunities being offered to our students this year, some of which include an in depth research program which focuses on jobs/career, personality assessments to discover individual student strengths and field trips to provide first hand knowledge of numerous vocations.”

Riverview Assistant Superintendent and Riverview Learning Center Principal Dr. Anthony Smith shares: “The program is already demonstrating its effectiveness and the students are achieving and flourishing in an environment that matches their learning styles. Seventy-five percentof our students have perfect attendance thus far. I would like to thank staff and parents involved in the Secondary Alternative Education committee that set the vision for this to happen in 2005.”

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