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PHOENIX LEARNING CENTER offers an alternative program when the traditional high school setting does not work for a student. Recognizing that there are many pathways for a student to succeed, staff offer personalized learning options in a family-like setting. Small class sizes of 15 or fewer support that individualized focus, where students learn to be responsible for their own learning plan. Phoenix Learning Center instills confidence and reinforces gratitude and joy in daily life as students work to earn their diploma.
Legend of The Phoenix
In ancient Egyptian mythology, the Phoenix is a female mythical sacred firebird with beautiful gold and red plumage. Said to live for 500 years, at the end of its life-cycle the phoenix builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix arises. The new phoenix embalms the ashes of the old phoenix in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in Heliopolis, "the city of the sun", located in Egypt. The bird is also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being almost immortal and invincible - a symbol of fire and divinity.
Welcome to Phoenix Learning Center
In 1996, the Buffalo School District responded to parent, student, community and educators' concerns that the traditional high school was not meeting the needs of a significant number of its students by forming a committee to study alternatives. Research and planning was conducted for two years before Phoenix Learning Center (PLC) opened its doors in September 1998.
PLC is a "student choice" alternative high school program serving at-risk students 16 - 21 year olds in the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District. Students from outside the district may open enroll. Students who choose to complete their high school requirements at PLC talk about the importance of a high school diploma. They also talk about being disenfranchised with school, and if they hadn't been able to attend PLC they would probably have dropped out of school. Many also come to PLC from chemical dependency programs not wanting to fight for their sobriety in the traditional high school where they would be confronted daily with their old habits. Students who struggle with anxiety, depression or 'getting from point A to point B in a timely fashion' often are more successful at PLC.
PLC is a multi-age, one-room schoolhouse. It worked in the olden days and it works nowadays. The average class has 12 students of varying ages and abilities. Some benefits to this learning environment are that students have the opportunity to help each other and Super Seniors (students in high school after their class has graduated) are more apt to complete their high school education.
In this setting, we are able to individualize the curriculum, focus on communication, accountability, respect, responsibility, relationships, and transition to life after high school. The environment at PLC is relaxed and flexible yet structured with high expectations. Students have greater input and more responsibility for their educational career as they progress toward their high school diploma. We say we are like a family. Many of our procedures are similar to those as an employer.