BRIDGEPORT — Three members of the city school board’s Student Achievement Committee received a progress report Tuesday evening on a new alternative high school program from students finding success with it.
The Twilight program is offered to about 100 students at each of the three city high schools and allows students to complete high school by taking a series of computer-based courses from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on week nights. The four students who came to the board, two from Central and two from Harding told the board the program is better than the one that was in place last year because this one is “web-based” meaning students can work on it at home not just in the four hours they are at the program. The only thing they can’t do at home is take tests.
Cory Gaie from Central, said the program is allowing him to finish high school in June. Allison Duncan said she was skipping class a lot because of a lot of drama. She was referred to Twilight but didn’t want to go until she learned she could still go to the prom and participate in other senior activities. “Now I am going to graduate,” she said.
Angelica Pichardo, a Harding student for four years said she could care less about the prom. What she wanted was a diploma. Yashira Mendez, a fourth student described herself as a horrible student but said that her mom didn’t want her to go into the program. She thought it was night school. For her, it works. She likes focusing on her work without distractions.
Board member Maria Pereira wondered how rigorous the program was considering that most tests are multiple choice. “Is it really challenging,” she asked.
Pereira also wondered about state requirements such as physical education. Program staff said that most students complete the state PE requirement before they enter the program.
Board member Jacqueline Kelleher asked if the computer program was aligned to the state’s new common core curriculum. She was told it was.
John Fabrizi, in charge of the program said the program will be improved for next year to make sure all parents meet with school officials and sign consent forms.