CHOICE was founded by a volunteer community committee headed by Mr. Dennie Ross in 1983-84. It was apparent to Mr. Ross as a vice principal at Shelton High School that many students had needs that remained unfilled and an alternative to traditional high school was needed in Shelton. The school opened in 1984 with two instructors and one secretary. That year the school served 40 students. Today CHOICE has about 20 staff members and serves as many as 200 students at any one time.

CHOICE is an acronym that stands for Challenging High School Opportunities in Continuing Education. CHOICE offers a high school diploma, and our students are able to participate in district sports and clubs.

CHOICE offers an opportunity for students to take charge of their education. The learning system at CHOICE is designed to put students in control of their own progress towards their goals and graduation. Progress is dependent upon students successfully completing the various graduation requirements as defined by a minimum standard of seventy percent mastery. The time it takes for a student to achieve this will vary depending upon the student's skills and level of effort. Students will track their own academic progress and attendance at regularly scheduled conferences with their advisors called "check-in". This performance-based system allows students to progress at the most effective pace of which they are capable. It is possible for a student demonstrating exceptional effort to advance towards graduation at a quicker pace than otherwise considered normal. It is also true that a student demonstrating little effort would make much slower progress towards graduation than considered normal. Students not making adequate academic progress will be counseled and encouraged at check-in, and changes will be made in their program if the advisor feels this is appropriate. Continued lack of progress may result in a change of placement to another program or school. The choice lies with the student as demonstrated by his / her actions.

In addition to the empowering aspects of the academic performance-based system, CHOICE operates under the simple motto of Respect Yourself and the Rights of Others. We also operate under group community agreements. These operating principles encourage students to develop empathy, consideration of others, effective communication, goal setting, problem solving and interpersonal skills. These skills give students tools they can use to support their commitment to challenge self-limiting patterns of irregular attendance, lack of adequate productivity and under-developed interpersonal skills.

Again, welcome to CHOICE. Our sincere desire is for each student to have success at CHOICE and become part of our educational family.


The CHOICE Staff