Build a stronger Community
Every school district, neighborhood, and community is different. Your Program Choice options should reflect that. When researching and promoting your Program Choice opportunities consider the industries in your areas as a direct pipeline towards careers for your students as well as partners in creating real-life projects for your students. The community is often ready and willing to help, but they need direction and your guidance.
Program Choice opportunities can bring students from various communities together if intentionally placed in areas of high need. The opportunity to learn through the lens of a specific topic is highly attractive to families. Research (1) shows that low-income minority students can benefit from the new opportunities presented and introduced through Program Choice opportunities.
Raise student achievement
Students’ academic achievement is one of the most powerful indicators of Program Choice success. Studies (2) show students that learn at Program Choice Schools perform better on standardized tests, work better with their peers, and have better attendance than students not enrolled in Program Choice schools.
Show them the money
Teaching through a specific Program Choice learning lens, such as STEM, prepares students for the careers of the future. U.S. News - Money - Best 100 jobs in 2021 (3) shares that the majority of the top 100 jobs will require technology, medical, or mathematics background. Careers in these fields generally offer salaries over $60.000. Families as well as students will be interested in the living and lifestyle that Program Choice schools can prepare their children for.
Showcase career opportunities
When students are introduced to new ideas or careers it allows them to see themselves in a new way. They are able to “try-on” the idea of a career to determine if they have a deeper connection to a particular industry. An example of this is providing lab coats for students during Science classes. A highly regarded practice in Program Choice is teaching using real world learning experiences and/or PBL (Problem Based Learning) because student are able to connect the contributions of learning new material to the world around them. (4), (5)