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A-Rated Clark Advanced Learning Center Celebrates 15 Years

A-Rated Clark Advanced Learning Center Celebrates 15 Years

August 8, 2018 Robert Lane

When students and faculty return to school at Clark Advanced Learning Center (Clark) on August 13, they have good cause for enthusiasm. Clark, a public charter high school on the Chastain Campus of Indian River State College and partner with the Martin County School District, received an “A” rating by the Florida Department of Education, a distinction it has earned for 10 consecutive years.

The ranking, based on the release of school grades, means Clark is among the top 20 high schools in all of the state, and the highest achieving A-rated high school on the Treasure Coast having earned 86% of the available points as part of the Florida Department of Education High School Grades Model. This announcement comes after Clark was named to the U.S. News and World Report Best High School list and just before the high school opens its doors for its 15th year of service to Martin County students and their families.

“At Indian River State College, student success is the number one priority. This commitment extends to students attending Clark Advanced Learning Center. Exceptional student performance is the result of outstanding teaching, a supportive learning environment, and the persistence of our students who intensely focus on their academic goals,” shares Debra Kohuth, Executive Director at Clark.

Established in 2004, Clark opened its doors with 191 high school students in grades 11 through 12. The school was expanded in 2008 to include 10th graders with enrollment surpassing 200. Clark starts the 2018—19 academic year Monday, August 13, with 250 students.

Initial concepts for Clark were modeled from the new-at-the-time “tech prep” initiative, along with the desire to connect technology to how students learn. Other foundational ideas continuing today include instilling good moral character, employability skills, and developing the soft skills that students need in the working environment. Especially noteworthy is the class in Personal and Career Development (SLS 1421). Created in conjunction with IRSC and community business partners, this class dovetails with an internship and gives students college credit as they invest 60 hours of hands-on training at a local business exploring a career in which they have a genuine interest.

The unique design of the high school is also key to the Clark concept. Classrooms are built around a central area called the Knowledge Room—every class opens into this multi-use room—purposed for activities that range from small group work to special presentations to immersive collaborative projects.

Kohuth shares how concepts from the formation of Clark still support student success today. “The philosophical beliefs at Clark are that you educate the whole child and not just the academic side. These beliefs are coupled with supportive caring attitudes that encourage students to reach their highest potential. We look forward to continuing to develop and build on these traditions as we start our 15th year.”

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