In 2004, Choctaw High School received a $500,000 grant from the Office of
Vocational and Adult Education of the US Department of Education to begin the
Smaller Learning Communities program. The SLC program at Choctaw High School
will focus on four major areas; Career Academies , Professional Development,
freshman transition programs, and at-risk programs.
A smaller learning
community is any separately defined, individualized learning unit within a
larger school setting. Research indicates students that are in small schools are
more successful than students in large schools. SLCs create the environment
similar to small schools for students in large urban schools. Strategies to
implement the SLC model vary from school to school and typically are created
based on students' needs, school resources and the district's goals.
The concept of SLC is based on the premise that small schools can create a
more intimate learning environment that is better able to address the needs of
each individual student within the school. Students, teachers and parents may be
better served when given the opportunity to communicate and focus on each
student's academic plan of study. Building meaningful relationships can create
conditions for success and help prepare students for post secondary education or
the work force. Research studies have consistently demonstrated that smaller
learning communities foster greater student achievement and reduce disciplinary
problems and dropout rates.