West Ada School District (WASD) has been working for several years to create a new educational
model for its high school academies. These schools are composed of learners who struggle in the typical
large-scale setting of our traditional high schools. Our original goal was to address teacher/student engagement in the learning process. We have since transitioned to focusing on equity for ALL learners.
One of the biggest challenges was changing the mindset of all stakeholders. Though change may seem inevitable, we have learned that it is actually the loss of one's identity, confidence and competence that creates the biggest hurdles.
A phrase we use in education often is "buy-in" and another term is engagement. My greatest advice is to meditate deeply on changing your vocabulary to include ownership and empowerment. In our society, there is not a common set of beliefs, morals and values to define success. I encourage the human beings in our culture to seek their truth and model the process to get to your destination, goals, or dreams with true authenticity.
Located in Meridian, Idaho, Central Academy provides educational services for students who meet the state of Idaho's at-risk criteria. With a growing population in the city and an increase in societal pressures to ensure college and career readiness for every student, district officials decided to "disrupt" the district's alternative school model.
Contact: Donell McNeal
Contact Title: Principal
Central Academy Alternative HS - Meridian, Idaho
6075 N. Locust Grove