Partnership Program not just for those lacking motivation


South students discuss their new book for a Partnership class

Elika Beck, Staff writer

Inside South there is a learning community that many students haven’t heard of before, the  Partnership Program. The Partnership Program is one aimed at juniors and seniors looking for a fresh start. It helps students who need more credits for various reason because they didn’t receive credits from courses they took in previous years. Partnership is fairly unknown at South, located on the first floor in the southeast corner.

The South High Student Handbook says Partnership offers many things to student; including: single credit classes, classes where students can earn double credits, a continuous progress option, services from community agencies, community-building events and activities, and their own graduation at the end of the year.

The purpose of the program is to prevent students from dropping out of high school and provide them with motivation and support to help them graduate. Sheri Harris, a social worker who is paired with the program notes that on average about 20% of the graduating class went through the Partnership Program. Of the students in the program most graduate on time, with the few that don’t usually graduating the next year.

The program, that was started in 1978, is pretty successful according to Harris. A combination of smaller classes, additional staff for more one on one support and more flexibility for making up credits then in summer school or credit makeup after school allows students to get the attention and support they need to graduate. The program also offers a more community feel with town meetings at least once a quarter and field trips.

Harris notes that not all students in Partnership are there because they lacked motivation earlier on in high school, although that is one reason. She says that students in the program are there for a variety or reasons including missed school because of family obligations or going through treatment. Also, students who spend the school year on an exchange program in another country and are no longer on track to graduate and look to the Partnership Program to get enough credits.

Senior Andrew Kommer, a student in the program, heard about it from friends of his who were enrolled in it. He decided to enroll in Partnership so he could get enough credits to graduate on time which he wants to do because “I don’t want to still be in high school. I want to get into college as soon as I can.” He likes it because, “it’s a lot easier then getting credits done online or in summer school.”

According to their pamphlet that you can pick up in room 100B, the partnership program “enrolls students who haven’t given up totally – they say they want to go to school and wish to graduate.”

Joe Musich discusses the next assignment while passing back papers in his Partnership class