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SGAHS Launch Program Celebrates Over a Decade of Success

SGAHS Launch Program Celebrates Over a Decade of Success

Spring Grove Area High School (SGAHS) was recently recognized at the Spring 2024 Shippensburg University Superintendent Study Council (SUSSC) Exemplary Program on March 20, 2024. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Steven Guadagnino, SGAHS Principal Dr. David Dietrich, SGAHS Associate Principal Mr. Christain Ehrhart, and Launch Program Teacher Mr. Pat Craig attended as presenters and honorary guests alongside eleven other school districts.

The Launch Program has had a major impact on the culture of SGAHS and the lives of many students. It originated more than ten years ago and was designed through a collaborative process that included teachers and administrators who worked together to research and design a program that targets students with very specific needs (i.e., attendance, behavior, etc.). We saw a need to support students who were habitually truant and struggled with passive behavioral issues that impacted their academic performance (i.e., cutting class). The program has since evolved to support students with a variety of needs.

To combat issues of truancy, cutting class, being out of assigned area, etc., the Launch Program has an altered schedule, a later start time, and a self-enclosed area. Launch is highly structured and focuses on addressing self-regulation and self-discipline. The program's unique design allows us to provide support that caters to students’ needs. As a result, we have been able to retain students, help them graduate, or help them change behaviors and then reintegrate into the mainstream.

A large part of the Launch Program's success is due to our relationship with a local alternative education program, River Rock Academy. The Launch Program is directed by a River Rock Academy employee who specializes in behavior management, and SGAHS provides academic support for the students. We are grateful to have Mr. Pat Craig as our Launch Program Teacher.

SGAHS teachers facilitate the education the students receive within the program. This approach allows the students to receive interventions specific to their behavioral needs while getting an education that maintains a connection to their high school teachers and courses. In addition, students within the Launch classroom have a compressed schedule, allowing time for social skills at the end of the day and opportunities for partial transitions to mainstream classes. This team approach has allowed us to effectively manage and improve student behaviors while maintaining the academic connection to the mainstream curriculum.

We are honored that the SGAHS Launch Program received the Shippensburg Superintendents School Study Council Exemplary Program Award.