Mountain High hosts first alternative education conference
From service learning to Southern cooking, nearly 160 participants in the first Utah Alternative Education Association conference left with tips and strategies to help individual students be successful.
The one-day conference, hosted by Davis School District’s alternative high school Mountain High, was attended by administrators and educators from 16 school districts throughout the state. Workshops were taught by higher education officials, alternative education teachers and administrators, social workers and private consultants.
“This was the best and most applicable conference that I have been to in all my years of education,” said Ed Morris, Youth in Custody director for Ogden School District. “The presenters did a great job and had information that was easy to understand and can be implemented in my current location.”
Participants learned about performing successful interventions, helping prepare students for higher education, teaching resilience, learning through service and overcoming student’s fears of classical texts, among other topics. Each topic was geared toward helping alternative education students graduate from high school and move toward a successful future.
“This morning I was talking over yesterday’s conference with my guidance counselor, who also attended,” said Amy L. Boettger, Diamond Ridge High School. “We learned about a process used at Mountain High School to track student progress and attendance every week. We agreed that by attending the conference and learning about this process we can save our students and school years of trial and error to improve student outcomes.”
Many who attended the conference said they appreciated being able to interact with others who teach in similar environments. Others said they went away with tips they could use in their classrooms immediately or in the near future.
“I was delighted and overwhelmed with the response of 160 registered participants,” said Mountain High Principal Kathleen Chronister, who headed the organization of the event. “The response indicates a statewide need for professional learning and advocacy for alternative education professionals.”
UAEA was organized to help meet that need.
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