SWOS’ primary program is our high school education curriculum. However, SWOS has additional programs that are not strictly academic that help to support the success of our students. These include a character education program, a School Based Health Clinic, family engagement activities and programs, as well as a developing postsecondary workforce readiness program.
While our course offerings are similar to those offered within a traditional high school model, the delivery of these subjects using several evidence-based best practices and instructional strategies is what sets SWOS apart from other institutions. The academic program at SWOS includes several unique components: character education, expeditionary learning, and common core practices (i.e. student-centered learning, differentiation, authentic learning and assessment, service learning/community service, outdoor education, academic probation, Two House System, portfolios, and postsecondary workforce readiness programming).
Central to our success with the both the non-traditional learner and the at-risk learner is our expeditionary learning approach. This is a learning model designed to promote critical thinking skills, academic achievement, and personal development through the use of in-depth investigations that engage students in community, travel, projects, and service by bringing experts into the classroom, taking students into the field, and engaging students in real world learning experiences.
SWOS has seen a steady growth in academic achievement as measured by standardized test data. While this data is by no means the only measure of our success, it does provide quantitative evidence that supports the efficacy of our academic program. Additional evidence of our success stems from annual data reflecting a decrease in attendance and behavioral issues, as well as an increase in average amount of credit earned per student per academic term. We are also seeing a marked increase in the number of students seeking post-secondary options.