August 25, 2014 6:56 pm

WATCH: New Edmonton school motivates teens to finish high school

WATCH ABOVE: A new Catholic high school is opening its doors this fall, hoping to give students a different way to complete high school. Kendra Slugoski reports.

EDMONTON – Students don’t always succeed in a traditional school setting, so a new Edmonton high school is giving students alternative education options.

The Edmonton Catholic School District, the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Public Library partnered up to create Cardinal Collins High School Academic Centre.

“Every student who walks through our doors has things going in their life that they need to deal with,” said Principal Bill Moreau. “The school welcomes in everyone to make sure they can continue along the path to finish their high school diploma.”

The centre offers:

Francesco Degregorio is starting school next week to upgrade his Math 30-1 and Science 30. He didn’t want to dive right into university, and was skeptical about what career path he wanted to take. So, taking the extra course at Cardinal Collins appealed to Degregorio.

“It’s just like a regular schedule of high school,” he said.  “I’m using the essential program which is the fourth/fifth year of high school. It’s semesters, so I have two – hopefully – morning classes, and I have the rest of my day to myself.”

Not only is the schedule the right fit for Degregorio, but the mature environment worked well for his studies too.

“The staff sounds really great, good environment to work, I would be surrounded by a lot of people that are in my situation.”

The main floor of Cardinal Collins is focused for the Fresh Start program. Students will come and go, and do small seminars or one-on-one instruction. They can do their work at the school or go home. This program is offered for students aged 15-17.

The facility is focused on self-paced learning; attendance is not a big factor in order to succeed. The teachers will give the students 15-30 hours of work a week.

“Some work part time…we don’t send them away with four-course subjects, they might take one at a time…because again, at their pace, they can handle that,” said Moreau.

Students who may have been asked to leave other schools have the opportunity at Cardinal Collins to address those challenges and move forward with their education.

Young mothers may also find the new school appealing. There is a YMCA day care attached to the school to guarantee a place for their children during school.

Additionally, the Our Lady of Grace program takes forms and registrations to agencies to find financial support to ensure everything works out for the students.  Moreau explained that being a single parent is not easy, so working at their own pace, and having proper resources is important to succeed.

“We have a teacher assigned and a social worker, and they work with our parenting teens to help them accomplish their high school diploma,” said Moreau. “The social worker connects them to the families, communities.”

While returning to high school is not always easy, officials hope having this facility – which Moreau describes as a post-secondary environment – will help motivate students to finish their diplomas, or upgrade to reach their goals.

Cardinal Collins is physically connected to the Clareview Community Recreation Centre and the Edmonton Public Library.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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