It has been nine months since Camas students, staff and families flooded Camas School Board meetings in the spring of 2023 to support their unique “choice schools” in the wake of the district’s announced budget cuts and Discovery High School students participated in a planned walk-out the day before their 2022-23 spring break to protest the district’s plan to unify the project-based learning Discover High with the remote K-12 Camas Connect Academy (CCA).
This week, Camas School Board members heard how those choice schools — which include CCA, Discovery, Hayes Freedom High School and the project-based learning (PBL) Odyssey Middle School — are fairing during the 2023-24 school year.
“Choice schools are a vital part of (the school district) that allow us to truly see and serve each student,” Derek Jaques, the school district’s K-12 program administrator, told Camas School Board members during a Board workshop on Monday, Jan. 8.
Jaques said roughly one in five Camas School District high school students currently attend one of the district’s three choice high schools.
“There is definitely a large amount of interest in students accessing programs they feel fit them best,” Jaques said, adding that his research shows Camas’ choice schools are doing a great job when it comes to what is known in education as “MTSS” or multi-tiered system of supports that, according to the Center for Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, “integrate data and instruction to maximize student achievement and support students’ social, emotional and behavior needs from a strengths-based perspective.”