On Monday, April 1, the Ste. Genevieve R-II STARS Program hosted the southeast regional Missouri Alternative Education Network (MAEN) meeting. This network aims to improve the quality of education available to students who are enrolled in an Alternative Program (MoOptions, Alternative School and Credit Recovery, among others).
STARS is Ste. Genevieve R-II’s Alternative to the Regular Setting, and Program Director Nick Cowell has been a member of MAEN for nine years. The southeast region meets twice a year and strives to visit a different school district at each meeting in order to share ideas and provide various perspectives from each district’s programming. This was the first time Ste. Genevieve R-II has hosted the event.
Presenters included Senior Counselor Russ Toombs, 8th and 9th Grade Counselor Ed Draper, Credit Recovery and Pride Instructor Jared Bonnell, School-Home Coordinator Stephanie Gegg, STARS Program Director Nick Cowell and STARS Instructor Jon Robinson. They discussed the strides Ste. Genevieve R-II has taken in the area of Alternative Education in the past several years, and offered an overview of the following programs: STARS, Dragon Fire Evolution, Mentor and Grade Level meetings, Credit Recovery and Pride, School-Based Therapy and Mandated Reporting.
The turnout for the meeting was excellent, with 23 representatives present.
“The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive,” Mr. Cowell says. “Representatives from the other school districts were impressed with how we presented the wide range of ways we try to assist our students who are struggling. We were happy to provide working examples of our programs, and a few representatives shared that this meeting really opened their minds to better ways of approaching Alternative Education.”