Sandy Balascak

ACE setting itself up for success

Agassiz alternate program includes positive community partnerships

Agassiz’s alternate school had a stellar school year, culminating in a media firestorm when a trio of seniors received their Dogwood diplomas.

And this year, administrator Sandy Balascak says the Agassiz Centre for Education is only going to continue to improve. She spoke to the school board on Tuesday night, outlining the ACE program and chatting about her students’ successes.

There are about 70 students enrolled this year, with the majority, 34, being teens aged 14-19.  There are 27 adults enrolled between the ages of 20 and 59, and eight over the age of 60.

While a dozen students graduated last year, Balascak is expecting anywhere from 15-20 graduates next June. While alternate education programs are typically known for being a second choice stream for troubled kids, ACE has set out to be a different type of program, a goal that’s been met by partnering with several organizations in Agassiz and Harrison.

The biggest partnership is between ACE and the Agassiz Legion. Students of ACE also volunteer on Christmas mornings to prepare and serve a meal for seniors who would otherwise be alone.

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