All Portage centres for adolescents offer mandatory on-site high school programming recognised by local school boards and adapted to the needs of the residents. Though some residents have been good students in the past, many of them have struggled with school, largely because they could not keep the pace that a teacher in a large classroom was setting for them.
At Portage Academy, the teachers are there to support and encourage the students as they work through their course packages at their own pace; facilitating and overseeing the learning process of each individual. Portage Academy helps the youth rediscover their academic abilities and often reawakens the drive to complete secondary school and maybe even to go on to post-secondary studies.
“The Portage Academy was great because they’re really small classes,” says Charlie, a Portage graduate. “I like the fact that we can all work at an individual pace, so no one is rushed to get through their work. The teachers are great - they're always there to help you and encourage you and be really kind.”
Academic program tailored for each resident
The academic program offered at Portage is a self-paced distributed learning program, much like schooling by correspondence. Each student receives a course package tailored to individual needs for each subject that he or she is enrolled in. The students work through the readings and assignments in their packages with the support of the teachers who act as facilitators.
Working closely with the student’s home school, courses are selected based on the student’s need, whether he or she is advancing to the next grade level, graduating, or achieving high school equivalency or an adult high school diploma.
How to motivate them?
At Portage Academy, students take control of their own learning and develop a sense of responsibility for their studies. Dedicated teachers provide one-on-one support and a Portage staff member is present in the classroom to help incorporate the therapeutic community approach. The learning process is facilitated by the therapeutic community because of the additional support that the students get from both their peers and staff members.
To finally succeed in school
Knowing how to do well in the classroom and manage the stresses of everyday life at school is an important part of social reintegration for an adolescent. With the tools and confidence to do so, they are less likely to turn back to drug abuse.
Portage gives residents hope for the future and Portage Academy gives them the tools and the confidence to pursue their studies and broaden their horizons.