When Rimini Street was first introduced to Beacon Academy of Nevada, an alternative school that offers flexibility and a non-linear path to graduation for at-risk students, we were intrigued. While most are familiar with the education model where a student completes a predetermined program, qualifies for graduation, moves onto the next grade and learns new concepts compounded on their previous years, Beacon Academy realizes that this is not the case for all students. Life happens and circumstances vary from student to student, some leading to a lapse or an untimely end to their valuable education. What happens to these students who are now in a state of limbo? Do they go back to school, re-enter a grade this time with students much younger than they are, or do they decide maybe they are too embarrassed or too far behind to keep pushing forward?
We learned about a student who in their mid-teens, became the sole bread-winner for her family. She had not only herself to take care of, but her siblings and also her grandmother, and her parents were nowhere in the picture. While trying to juggle school and work, she decided to give up on her education. Not because she wanted to but because she had to put food on the table and keep her family safe. We also were introduced to another student’s story – he was a troubled child who dropped out in grade school and never learned how to read or write. But when he entered his teens, he wanted to invest in his future by getting his high school diploma. How do you teach a teenager who doesn’t have the basic education, how to read Shakespeare and understand the concept of Physics?
Beacon Academy is the place where hope thrives for teens and young adults who have made the conscious decision to go back to school and graduate with a diploma in hand. These resilient students are given the opportunity to learn and excel in an environment that is specifically designed for their unique situations with learning programs compatible not only with their level of knowledge, but appropriate for their age group. This is made possible by offering flexibility in school attendance, one-on-one tutoring, and specialized online learning programs.