The Cherry Hill Alternative High School is a replacement program for at-promise students in grades 9 – 12. Our students are intelligent, caring, compassionate children, who have failed to thrive in our larger comprehensive high schools. Our students have unlimited potential and are destined for success, although many of them do not recognize it yet. Our staff work together closely in an interdisciplinary team setting to ensure that our programming, curriculum, and character development are seamlessly aligned. We work diligently to provide academic and emotional support, in order to create a conducive learning environment where students feel empowered to be risk-takers.
Our approach to character development comes from a visioning activity that the staff participated in during the spring of 2008. This collaborative work indicated that our mission should be to prepare our learners for the next phase of their lives by focusing on transition planning, academic rigor, character development, and career exploration. In regard to character development, the charge became respect, responsibility, and citizenship.
Lickona and Davidson (2005), espouse that “character is the pathway to excellence and ethics” and we have attempted to embody this by creating a school that ensures that all students are known, feel safe, and have a voice. To that end, we provide opportunities for theoretical character to be applied to real world situations through authentic learning experiences.