The Student Opportunity for Academic Recovery (SOAR) Program is designed for students in grades 6 through 8 who are over the traditional middle school age because of retention, truancy, or other challenges.
“Over the years, we would have students in our classes who were over the traditional age for middle school grades (i.e., 16 and in the 8th grade),” Ms. Amy Sarno (Middle School SOAR Program Coordinator) tells us. “We felt that it was difficult for those students to maintain interest in school; after falling behind in their grade levels for a wide variety of reasons, these students often become demotivated, and the thought of staying in school for five or more years of school – until they turn 20 or 21 – is overwhelming and unrealistic.”
The goal of the SOAR program is to provide academic recovery in the form of a pathway for students to complete middle school and transition to high school.
“We realized that offering these students the same program of full-year courses wasn’t going to work, so we started to think of ways to accelerate the Middle School experience, while still teaching all of the content needed to prepare students to move on to high school,” Ms. Sarno explains.
SOAR courses differ from traditional PALCS courses. Each grade level will be completed in half a school year, accelerating the transition to high school. Content areas will be blended together (Math/Science, and Language Arts/Social Studies), while foundational skills and concepts of each content area will be taught in separate lessons or modules, thematic units and projects will use a cross-curricular approach, combining content from multiple disciplines.
“Students have commented that the layout of the program is more manageable; and consistent times for daily Virtual Lessons and […]