Matt Zawacki, La Porte Community School Corporation’s Youth Assistance Program Coordinator, spoke at the May 4 virtual meeting for Indiana ACEs Coalition about the growth and success of LPCSC’s programs.
The Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) offers La Porte High School students facing significant academic and personal challenges the opportunity to reset their life trajectory towards success. More recently, the Youth Assistance Program (YAP) was added to work in conjunction with the VLA to support each student and provide the resources and sounding board to monitor achievement of goals, make necessary adjustments and encourage students to work towards their goals.
Additionally, the Youth Support Program offers workshops on topics such as substance abuse prevention, finances, career skills development, and life skills development relevant to a successful transition to adulthood. . In terms of success, the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year, the VLA/YAP served 64 students in grades 10-13. However, the program mainly focuses on years 11 to 13.
Grade 13 includes students, referred to as “super seniors,” who did not graduate from high school within the four-year period, according to the LPCSC.
In the first semester of this school year, 17 of the 19 Super Seniors completed all the courses required to graduate from high school by mid-year. One even graduated early, bringing the number of Virtual Learning Academy high school graduates to 18 out of 19.
LPCSC says the success of the program is made possible by staff, students, parents and the community, as all parties form a support network that bridges gaps where roadblocks once stood.