CARSON CITY — A local adult education program is ending in one school district and beginning in another.
Carson City-Crystal Area Schools will expand a new alternative education program to include the adult education program, which was previously administrated by Central Montcalm Public School.
John Kearney is retiring as Central Montcalm’s community education director and Central Montcalm district officials have decided to end the program.
The adult ed program will now be facilitated in the Carson City-Crystal school district via Carson City Alternative. According to Devin Pringle — the outgoing CC-C high school principal and incoming program director for alternative and adult ed — the adult program will be a continuation and expansion of the current area program that was running at Central Montcalm.
“We are taking on the adult education program for Carson City-Crystal, Central Montcalm, Vestaburg and Greenville,” Pringle said. “It will run alongside the alternative program. Both programs will open up opportunities for teen and adult students who are in need of a different, more flexible path to their education.”
Those who participate in the programs will have the opportunity to utilize technology and the Internet for those students in need, plus the program will offer school to work options, some free college education, free GED prep and testing.
“The real strength will be in the quality of our people and the flexibility of our programming,” Pringle said. “Our goal will be to get students on to college or out into the work force.”
Kearney views this program as a good fit for the Carson City-Crystal district.
“Moving adult education to Carson City in the 2013-2014 school year works for everyone,” Kearney said. “With no new administrator to replace me, we let the other districts know. We heard from Carson City and had a meeting with Devin. It was clear this was the right move after that meeting.”
Pringle started his career in alternative education 25 years ago. He knows a quality, well run program can be a life-changer for participants.
“I was fortunate enough to be recognized as a finalist for the State of Michigan Alternative Education Teacher of the Year at that time,” Pringle said. “I have no doubt that we will change the lives of the children and adults in our program and change the course of their families for generations.”
Pringle is already setting some short-term goals as he prepares to open the program to the area this fall.
“My initial goal is to reach as many of our resident high school-aged kids as we can,” Pringle said. “To make sure they are getting serviced in a quality school setting. As opposed to just a diploma.”
Pringle believes preparation for the future work force is important to Montcalm County and surrounding areas.
“I am more interested in getting children ready for college and a job, Pringle said. “I hope that by offering a first class alternative school, we will also be of interest for districts that do not have alternative programming to want to enter into a partnership that could benefit their kids and district.”
By these partnerships Pringle thinks it will provide quality education to adults seeking degrees.
“We have a large population of adult learners who can take the next step in life with this support,” Pringle said.
The programs will not add to the school districts cost it will be funded by federal grants and current state aid.
“We are applying for a WIA grant through the federal government,” Pringle said. “This will allow us to offer the adult program and service to the four communities. Other funding comes from the state based on pupil enrollment.”