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Academics consists of the following seven Core Skills and their objectives:

Computer Proficiency: Understand and be able to explain computer terms. Operate a computer word processing program. Demonstrate a new computer program or teach someone else. Use the Internet for research. Demonstrate proper care and maintenance of the computer.

Create Something: Become aware through the process of creating something of the energy, time, pain and pleasure involved. Explore the talent, energy, and devotion of artists/craft persons.

Math: Show competence of basic math skills – through percentages. Apply these skills to real life problems. Demonstrate the major functions of a calculator.

Reading and Writing: Show improvement in reading comprehension. Demonstrate your ability to communicate clearly through writing. Explore how reading generates ideas and how writing frees imagination. Experience various genres of fiction and non-fiction.

Scientific Method: Observe, measure, record, analyze, and define a problem, theorize, make a hypothesis, collect data and form a conclusion. Explain the value or insight you get from closely observing a natural, social, cultural phenomenon.

US Citizenship / History: Demonstrate your knowledge of the structure of our federal and state governments. Identify your representation on local, state, and federal levels and ways to contact them. Define the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Participate in at least one civic event. Select an historic event or era to study and put it in historic context by placing it on a timeline of your own creation. Examine a piece of history that has meaning for you.

Elective: Of your own choosing


Life Skills

Life Skills consists of the following thirteen Core Skills and their objectives:

Budgeting: Increase your knowledge of why and how to budget. Research new budgeting techniques. Apply at least one new technique to your current budgeting process.

Community Resources and Support: Research what resources, support groups and volunteer opportunities are available in your community to you and your children, including, but not limited to; personal, medical, educational, employment, legal, housing and social services. Demonstrate how to access them. Create a list of useful emergency and non-emergency services and phone numbers. Broaden and strengthen your community involvement and relationship by attending one community event or support group.

Conflict Resolution: Demonstrate an understanding of various types of conflict resolution, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Practice negotiation skills, use time-outs appropriately and constructively, and demonstrate strategies for dealing with sibling rivalry or other conflicts.

Critical Thinking: Define fact and opinion. Analyze some form of media (newspapers, TV, internet, radio, etc.) by distinguishing fact from opinion. Develop an awareness of propaganda. Analyze your beliefs on a specific issue. Evaluate your beliefs and how they may affect others.

First  Aid: Demonstrate first aid skills. Provide a list of necessary items to have available in your home for first aid use.

Health and Nutrition: Develop a health care plan for you and your children. Compare options for financing your plan. Distinguish between emergency and non-emergency situations and describe appropriate responses. Examine how food and exercise affect well-being. Evaluate the eating habits and physical exercise of you and your child.

Home Safety and Organization: Evaluate the safety of your home. Make plans for emergency situations including a fire exit plan. Devise a strategy for cleaning and organizing. Research common poisonous plants and household substances.

Job Hunting: Explore your interests, skills, and values as they relate to a career. Compare different kinds of jobs. Research at least one particular job. Understand paycheck computations. Practice job-hunting skills (role play a phone inquiry, interview, resume writing).

Self Care: Define what your emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and mental needs are and how best to meet them. Practice communication skills with regard to self-care. Develop a self0-care plan to follow throughout your Passages Program. Document your experiences for a least 1-month; review and revise regularly.

Sexuality: Gain awareness of physical and emotional changes and experiences in sexuality during pregnancy and throughout life. Demonstrate communication skills on the topic of sexuality. Demonstrate an awareness of safety regarding HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy prevention. Increase your awareness s of your children’s sexuality as it relates to child development.

Shopping: Analyze your shopping and money spending patterns. Comparison shop using a variety of resources including unit pricing. Identify those psychological needs which shopping may fulfill and how it affects your lifestyle. Identify the pros and cons of credit cards and how to establish credit.

Transportation: List resources available and devise a plan for emergency or daily transportation. Pass your driver’s permit test. Demonstrate how to read a map. Plan a vacation to a place you’ve never been, including all costs.

Understanding Abuse: Explain and list various types of abuse. List what community programs deal with different types of abuse. Choose at least two to explore in depth. Describe ways to address abuse in your life and to teach your children about abuse. Research a topic of abuse.



Parenting consists of the following four Core Skills and their objectives:

Early Childhood Development: Explain the developmental stages of childhood. Demonstrate ways to help children grow based on realistic expectations. Describe how your child is unique and specify.

Infant Care: Identify your infant’s needs and explain how you attend to them. Research the methods and effects of bonding with an infant.

Parenting: Analyze the similarities and differences between your own and other people’s parenting. Choose a parenting skill you’d like to develop; set goals and implement strategies to reach it. Compare and contrast the roles of fathering and mothering in a child’s development. Identify any custody issues in your household and explore ways to deal with them.

Pregnancy: Demonstrate knowledge of the terms/stages of pregnancy. Evaluate birth options and develop a birth plan. Examine the role of diet and exercise on pregnancy, recognizing your own behaviors. Demonstrate knowledge of physical and emotional changes in postpartum.

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The Passage

Upon completion of a minimum of 19 of the 24 Core Skills and Transcripts students will begin the formal planning for their Passage.

The Passage is the final project in the program. It is their chance to “run with the ball”, take their own idea and turn it into a learning experience that carries special meaning for them. The objective is to address or confront a very real or personal, or significant fear, challenge, need, interest or passion in their life. Students are thoroughly in charge of all aspects of the design, implementation and follow-through of the project. They become the teacher; the teacher becomes the support. Passages also hopes that in doing this project the student realizes their potential.

To help you take an idea and turn it into a plausible, successful project the student will select a Passage Team. The Passage Team will consist of a current Passages student, a Passages graduate, their teacher, a second Passages staff member, a person who is an advocate/support system for them and an expert or consultant in the area of their Passage. In each of these roles, the most important aspect is that the team members allow themselves to be curious, to ask questions, to offer constructive feedback, opinions, reactions, concerns, thoughts, ideas, practical tips and support.

A more in-depth guideline is available providing a detailed description of the process, expectations, and common questions students may have about the Passage.