Thursday, May 30, 2024

ALPHA Educator

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Leola Miller

Hon. Alvin O’Neal
Third District Town Council 2725 Main Street
Stratford CT 06615

I am writing to express my strong support for the continuation of the ALPHA alternative education program in Stratford Public Schools (SPS). As a new team member of ALPHA and educator of SPS, I have witnessed firsthand the significant impact on the social, academic, and personal development this program has on our students. I strongly believe that investing in ALPHA is essential to the success of our students, and it would be a disservice to them to eliminate or cut funding for such a valuable resource.

The ALPHA program offers students a path they can navigate, unique opportunities, and support for our student population of exceptionalities to learn and grow, that might otherwise be dismal in their home-base high school of Bunnell or Stratford. This program offers a diverse range of intensive support to guide, illuminate, or readjust the students educational and social pathways. These supports range from credit recovery and workplace credits, to social emotional competence in order to be successful adults in the professional world and life proceeding high school. This program has also aided in changing the perspective and narrative of a number of students’ lives, which has equated to a positive impact on student well-being and social emotional development. This program also helps to foster a sense of community and belonging among students, teachers, and parents alike. The hands-on approach of this program has not only increased student engagement and motivation, but provided a consistent attendance increase of 10% from 61% to 71% from the previous school year.

As the business education teacher of ALPHA, students who participate in the program have shown a greater depth of cognizance of adulthood after high school, post-secondary education, and an engaged interest in how to develop their personal finances–this is vital to thrive in the 21st century workforce and may have been a different narrative at their home high schools, due to the small group placement and tailored support plan of ALPHA.

In closing, those of authoritative and decision making ability please keep in mind that the students referred to this program were implicated for a reason. One of the essential factors in my decision to come to this district was the mission and vision statement posted on the SPS website that closely aligns with my personal values. Stratford presents itself as a district built on putting the needs of the students first. I urge the Board of Education to prioritize the continuation of the ALPHA program and to allocate the necessary resources to ensure its continued success. Cutting or eliminating this program would be a disservice to our students and would hinder those students in the district that may receive additional or differentiated support. ALPHA plays a crucial role in preparing our students for the future and is an essential part of Stratfords’ educational offerings.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, with high hopes of seeing the ALPHA program continuing to thrive in the Stratford School District.

Regards,

Leola Miller
ALPHA Business Education Teacher

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