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FROM OUR SCHOOL HEAD
"What if my child needs more time before taking the next step in life? is a question WPS leaders are asked time and time again. While the majority of WPS students graduate and go on to post-secondary education, there is a group of students who need more time. Winston Transitions was created to address the need for a gap year or two" and offer those young adults and others like them outside of the WPS community, the alternative program they have been looking for.Winston Transitions has been described as "the Swiss Army knife of gap year programs". This program can be whatever you need it to be. The essence of Winston Transitions is the flexibility, individualization, and understanding around designing a program and experience that supports each student's unique needs. We have a myriad of programmatic tools at our disposal that allow us to design individualized experiences for students who need to focus on developing independence to succeed after high school. This experience can include components that deepen academic, workplace, social and/or life skills. The ultimate goal for any student going through this process is self-understanding, leading to a greater sense of awareness. Our Transitions Team works closely with students in an in-depth way through our small groupings, comprehensive academic coursework internship experiences, social-emotional development, and Winston’s unique one-to-one Focus program. Additionally, a strong emphasis is placed on a practical application approach and project-based learning within the core course opportunities of Literacy, Writing, Math, Health and Wellness, Professional Studies, Independent Living Skills, Environmental Studies, and Creative Projects. All of these working in concert reflect and respond to the essential skills needed for success as an emerging young adult. For many of our students college will be the next step in their journey. Our partnership with Landmark College and the Dual Enrollment Program not only supports the development of executive functioning strategies that are essential to success while managing college-level work but also serves as a meaningful assessment tool for readiness and decision-making regarding higher education opportunities that make the most sense for each individual student. The dual enrollment program includes dedicated time during the school day for students to meet with an onsite school liaison who ensures that students understand navigation within a digital learning environment. The liaison works closely with the students to clarify technical and procedural hurdles that students typically have to resolve on their own in college. Continuous communication with each student’s Focus instructor also aids in a deeper understanding and skill development. Students learn about the accessibility of the Learning Management System (LMS) (in this case, Canvas), as well as “netiquette” and online accommodations. Students learn how to participate in synchronous and asynchronous discussions and learn about the multiple affordances of online learning such asfrequent communication with instructors via digital means, interacting with an online learning community of peers, add-on tech-based applications, and other supports for time management, organization, and self-regulation. Each course is credit-bearing and fully supported by feedback and the utilization of the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner.Located in the heart of New York City, Winston Transitions is a unique program for a community of diverse learners ages 17-21, all of whom need additional work to be prepared for the next step. To determine whether this program is appropriate for any one student, we make assessments in line with Winston Prep’s Continuous Feedback System and The Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner. The Winston Transitions Team is committed to developing a true understanding of each individual through challenging our students’ abilities and raising the bar for excellence. We want our students to leave this gap year(s) program with a greater sense of who they are and what next steps make the most sense for their futures. Not only does the Winston Transitions Team focus on our students’ well-being, but a strong emphasis is also placed on the well-being of our students’ families. We strive to help families feel confident that there will be a viable outcome at program completion and that they will have the tools to support their child as they move towards independence. Come see us in action as we work to build a solid foundation by supporting and challenging young adults to meaningfully participate in life.
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