By Susan Gallagher, Director of Alternative Programs
The Huron Valley School District strives to create personal leadership opportunities for students. As a district, the goal is that all students graduate as: analytical, critical, self-directed, lifelong, digital learners; innovative, creative problem-solvers; effective communicators and collaborators; healthy, responsible citizens who are excellent producers of quality work. Providing opportunities for all students to acquire or enhance these skills is a tall order. To this end, Harbor High School added several new initiatives to its programming this year.
Harbor High School students assume much ownership for the academic and social/cultural success of their school. The establishment of a Peer-Tutoring Program reinforces the responsibility aspect of leadership and strengthens students' communication and collaboration skills. The program has been of substantial academic benefit to the school. Students who are experiencing academic success are tutoring others who are improving with the one-on-one instruction. Harbor teacher, Ben Dowker, oversees the program, which has doubled in size from first trimester to second. Harbor High School's Student Advisory determined that another way to increase student achievement was to let students see what opportunities are available by inviting colleges and other post-secondary training program representatives to talk with students. As a result, presenters from Oakland Community College, The Art Institute, and Baker College came during the first trimester so students could begin making plans.
Harbor High School staff is proud of the efforts the staff and students have made to enhance student leadership. Students who gravitate toward alternative education often possess a natural inclination to follow the "road less traveled," exploring a non-traditional path in pursuit of a high school education. In doing so, personality characteristics often surface that reveal students with an adventuresome spirit; a curious, risk-taking nature; and a fearlessness about changing directions when current circumstances are not producing favorable outcomes. Harbor High School staff strives to bring these attributes to the forefront for all of our students while simultaneously integrating other skills to ensure that well-rounded leadership is established. As a staff, we are thrilled to work with such an interesting group of young men and women.