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Nugget Article - Best of both worlds

EDUCATION: Centre offers high school classes in alternative environment

JENNIFER HAMILTON-MCCHARLES - The Nugget

Monday May 30th 2011

Kerina Dionne knows you can't get far without a high school diploma. That is why the 17 year-old has decided to return to school to graduate.

Dionne is one of a handful of students to enrol in Centre d'Apprentissage du Nord-Est de I·Ontario.

The alternative learning centre, at 310 Algonquin Ave., is available for francophone students to complete their diploma in a nontraditional learning environment. "Everybody has a story and it affects who they are." Dionne said.

It's hard to put in words what this school has meant to me. For some of us, being a teen has been rough. There are self-esteem issues, family and school issues and problems with friends. Dionne said she has transferred schools several times throughout her childhood and last year dropped out for personal and family reasons.

Dionne, who is in Grade 11, now feels her goals are attainable. Normal high school was too much for me, but I knew I needed to go. I want to go to university to study social work and psychology." she said Friday.

The alternative school offers a wide range of part-time and full-time programs and the curriculum is based on the special needs of individual students.

Nancy Gendron, communications officer for Conseil Scolaire Public du Nord-Est de I'Ontario, said the school was started because there was no alternative school for francophone students. "Students were looking for a way to continue their education outside the traditional setting" she said.

Robert Poirier, board chairman of the Conseil Scolaire Public du Nord·Est de I'Ontario, cuts the ribbon to officially open Centre d'apprentissage-Nord·Est de I'Ontario.

The centre which opened in September is able to accommodate 20 students. Students can register at any time throughout the school year. To make room for the alternative school, the board decided to relocate its head office to the former École Publique Heritage, at 820 Lakeshore Dr.

nugget article best of both worlds