Healthy Alternative Schools and Community Partnerships Initiative
American Charter Academy
American Charter Academy (AMC) reports declines in youth risk behaviors, increases in attendance and graduation rates, increases in professional development on health topics for staff, increases in the number of students participating in healthy activities, providing a health fair, and increases in the numbers of students meeting health/safety goals in their Individualized Learning Plans. The Alternative Schools Initiative supported activities that contributed to these accomplishments included life coach support for students challenged by issues like homelessness, a nurse available to address student health needs, and the completion of a pilot of the evidence-based Fourth R Healthy Relationships curriculum. The 2011-2012 school year highlights from the American Charter Academy include completing environmental learning enhancements driven by staff and student surveys, and initiating a Community Partnerships Healthy Announcements campaign in collaboration with Northwest Strategies to develop brochures, radio spots, posters, and internet sites that inform students of the healthy activities available in the community. AMC also increased mental health counseling services to its students.
The 2012-2013 school year highlights from the American Charter Academy include the creation of innovative community service announcement videos. Students researched a day or month (Cystic Fibrosis Month, Breast Cancer Awareness, Flag Day) and worked with a team to create a storyboard, script and ultimately a public service announcement to be premiered this fall. The Alternative Schools Initiative also supported activities including suicide awareness and prevention professional development training for staff and curriculum training.