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About the Program

Success students at work The Success Program is a drop-out prevention program in Shelby County Schools. The program offers students the opportunity to earn high school academic credits and certification in a career/technical program. Students cannot graduate early, but can accelerate in academic courses in an effort to get back on track and graduate with their Kindergarten grade cohort.

The Success Program offers a setting where students stay in school and enjoy their success because they are accepted, encouraged, and valued. Because of the many ingredients and facets of the Success Program, students feel ownership of the program, develop pride in their work, and develop responsibility for themselves and their actions. Students can not graduate early, but by working hard, they can make up lost time and get back "on track" with their graduating class. Students can graduate from high school with a diploma plus job skills that will help them succeed in a career!

Components of the Program

Academics -- Academic classes are taught through the means of a self-paced computer-assisted software program titled A+, as well as paper/pencil assignments. Students are provided an individualized program that is designed to meet individual needs. Students work at their own pace while the instructor facilitates. The computerized instructional methods used in the SUCCESS classrooms assist in providing teachers with the ability to work one-on-one with those who are less motivated, as well as those who struggle with particular standards. Individualized positive reinforcement and positive feedback are a key component in the role of the instructor. The teacher is not replaced in this setting, but rather provided with an opportunity to assist students more effectively. Students are required to demonstrate progress during every 4 1/2 week grading period throughout each nine weeks. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the student to achieve the academic progress necessary to remain in good standing in the program.

Life Skills -- Students spend time twice monthly in life skills classes throughout each nine weeks. In these classes the counselor spends time discussing topics such as suicide awareness, teen depression, careers, making good life choices, building character, improving self-esteem, motivating responsibility and maintaining a positive culture and climate among the family at SOT. The counselor also works with each group to provide students the tools necessary to resolve personal problems.

Career/Technical Education -- Career/Technical Education certification is an essential element of the Success Program. In order for a student to become certified in a Career/Technical area, each student has a planned sequential course of study that is developed and implemented to best serve the students' future career goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the chances my child will be accepted to the Success Program?

The annual Success Program enrollment is capped at 100 students; there are approximately 150-200 referrals per year.

How do I get my child into the Success Program?

A counselor or administrator from one of the eight Shelby County High Schools must send a written referral along with transcript, attendance, and discipline records to Ms. Kirk, counselor at SUCCESS.

What happens after the referral has been made?

Once the referral has been received, Ms. Kirk will notify the home school counselor if the student is eligible for an interview, and the home school counselor will contact the parent. The SUCCESS program personnel will also attempt to contact the parent to schedule an interview.

The student, as well as a parent/guardian, must be in attendance during the interview. After all interviews are completed, the Success Referral Committee meets and recommends students for the fall enrollment. The home school is notified of the committee's decision. A letter of acceptance is sent to the student. Although most interviews are conducted in the spring, there are circumstances that allow for interviews to be held at other times of the year.

NOTE: The Success Program is a certified academic program; a student is accepted into the program after completing the referral and interview processes. Students can be dismissed from the program for failing to make adequate academic progress, for disciplinary reasons, or for excessive attendance/tardy issues.

What will ensure that my child will remain in the program?

Good attendance, demonstration of responsibility and character, commendable work ethics, punctuality, acceptable academic progress, completion of each academic and technical course with at least a 75, and minimal discipline referrals will ensure student success.

Will my child graduate with a diploma?

To earn a diploma, students must complete academic course requirements (24 required credits) and pass all required sections of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam. If a student does not pass all necessary sections of the AHSGE and has completed required academics, he/she will receive a Certificate of Completion. He/she can return to Success or to the home high school to attempt the AHSGE until he/she passes it. Success students can choose to participate in commencement ceremonies at either their home school or with the School of Technology.

How do I contact the Success Program?

Counselor: Mandy Kirk
682-6574 (voice mail)
Shelby County College and Career Center
701 Highway 70
Columbiana, Alabama 35051