what is the branching out program?
A community-based mentoring program that complements students’ regular course work at U-32 high school.
A program to help students construct realistic learning plans based on their individual learning styles and interests.
A shared commitment by students, parents, community members, teachers, and program staff to meet Vermont’s educational standards.
A means for meeting the needs of motivated students who find it difficult to learn some subjects in traditional classes.
A way for students to complete graduation requirements and stay in school while pursuing different modes of learning.
An opportunity to develop competence, confidence, self-discipline, and creativity through “real world” experiences.
The need for the program
Branching Out was created as a direct result of expressed needs from local parents and teenagers.
U-32 was originally designed with a percentage of the student body learning in community settings. The Vermont Framework of Standards and the Branching Out approved learning plans provide the necessary basis to revisit this approach in an educationally sound way.
Branching Out helps students who may consider leaving U-32 to reengage with their learning at U-32.
“Branching Out works with students who are educationally motivated and who find they would like to learn in ways other than the traditional classroom structure. This program will provide public schools a means to transcend their structural limitations by offering a program that meets these individual student’s needs. Students in this program will successfully complete their graduation requirements and will also become more competent, confident individuals possessing the skills to function effectively in a participatory, democratic society.”
Integrate community learning into public high schools.
Keep teenagers in public school who might otherwise drop out.
Offer modes of learning that complement school classes.
Provide applied, in-depth learning opportunities.
Allow study of subjects the school does not offer.
Help students understand and direct their own learning.
Develop skills needed to meet Vermont’s educational standards.