MISSION: BCOPE is a community based alternative educational program that provides every student with the opportunity to succeed.
BCOPE is the alternative proggram for Belfast Area High School. It began in 1990 as a result of a grant from the Office of Substance Abuse. A pilot program was created and it worked with a small number of at-risk students to develop the school district's mission of ”reaching and teaching all students.” Until 2002, the program leased space in the Belfast Center. In the fall of 2002, we moved into our permanent home on Merriam Drive, opposite Spectrum Generations. In addition, over the years, the program has evolved to three full-time teachers and two full-time ed techs, whose focus is to provide an alternative learning experience for a maximum of 40 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.
DEFINITION OF AT-RISK STUDENT
A student who is defined as “at-risk” is one who is behind in academic credits and has not been successful in a traditional setting. Intelligence and/or socio-economic background do not define “at-risk.”
STUDENT BODY PROFILE
- 50% Seniors (4 plus years)
- 40% Juniors
- 10% Sophomores
- 30% Identified Special Ed
Students commit to attend BCOPE by choice. Students are referred to BCOPE by a school administrator, teacher, or staff member; by a parent; or by students themselves. Once a referral is made, the student or her/his parent should contact BCOPE and arrange an interview. The applicant must be present at the meeting and all subsequent meetings regarding her/his placement. After the interview, the applicant is required to write an essay that discusses her/his interest and need for the program as well as her/his qualities that will support and enhance the BCOPE learning community. Although each student's past educational experience is considered, every effort is made to give each student a fresh opportunity to succeed.
Upon graduation from BCOPE, students will earn a Belfast Area High School diploma. The academic requirements for graduation are the same as what is expected at BAHS.
The following guidelines have been developed and are in effect at BCOPE:
- Substance Abuse
- Electronic Usage
- Students as Parents
Refusal to follow the guidelines may result in removal from BCOPE.
BAHS CLASS OFFERINGS/SCHEDULE
Students are able to take classes at BAHS based on available slots. Each student has an academic schedule based on her/his personal Alternative Educational Plan for graduation. BCOPE students may participate in any BAHS extra-curricular activities if they are academically eligible. In addition, students are encouraged to take classes at Waldo County Technical Center.
Students are not required to be at BCOPE during lunch . This is a freedom that translates into responsibility and accountability for not just the students as individuals, but for the entire BCOPE community. Students risk removal from BCOPE if this privilege is abused. During their first month at BCOPE, students are not allowed to leave campus during lunch.
Our vision for curriculum is that relevant learning experiences are journeys, which require perseverance with vision for revision. They travel where learning leads and curriculum is the map to find the destination. We also believe that our curriculum can be broken down into three pieces: academic rigor, relevance to the learner and personal relationships with learning as the goal. BCOPE staff meets regularly with BAHS department (English, Math, Social Studies, Fine Arts, and Special Education) and is actively involved in curriculum development. Traditional and alternative assessments have been developed and are used across the curriculum. (11th graders are required to take the SAT and 10th and 11th graders take the PSAT.)
Interdisciplinary curriculum projects are implemented on a regular basis throughout the school year. The ultimate goal of BCOPE is to prepare students for life beyond high school – an opportunity to succeed!
BCOPE graduates are everywhere! They have gone to college, enlisted in the military, pursued careers and raised families. Our most successful graduates are those who have learned lessons from their past and realize that education has the power to transform their lives.