Director of Alternative Services
My name is Mike Whitaker, and this is my second year as principal of the Sterling School. I have previously worked at Montgomery County High school and last year as principal at the alternative school in Webster County. I am very excited about making the 2016-2017 school year our best ever at the Sterling School.
The Sterling School exists to meet the needs of students in Montgomery County who require specialized instruction and whose learning experiences are greatly improved in an alternative setting. We have passionate teachers who are committed to teaching and advocating for every student enrolled. Teaching at the Sterling School is carried out through a combination of student-directed learning through a virtual computer-based curriculum called APEX as well as direct teacher to student instruction. Our teachers work closely with our students in all classes, no matter which method is being utilized.
This year we are continuing our efforts to play a part in the local community. These community service activities include our students making visits to residents at the nursing home and reading books to classes at some of the elementary schools in the district. Providing opportunities for our students to be involved in their community helps them learn how to be an active, responsible citizen, as well as realize the importance of helping other people, even in small ways. We hope to be involved in more service opportunities as we seek them out and as need arises.
Enrollment in the Sterling School is based on referral process that can be initiated by a parent with input from the sending school administration and guidance counselor. Administrators from MCHS may also refer a student to the Sterling School with parent involvement. Students will be admitted based upon need and the availability of space. The capacity for the Sterling School is 40 students in grades 7 through 12.
We also have Sterling Night School from 4:00 to 7:00 PM on Mondays through Thursdays. It is based on a referral process, but students at age 18 may self-refer. At the Night School, students age 17 through 19 are given the opportunity to recover credits through a non-traditional setting. Class work must also be completed outside the school setting to earn credits and demonstrate course completion.
At the Sterling School, our motto is “No Excuses, Find a Way.” That is how our students, teachers, staff, and administration are approaching this school year. With a flexible, positive, and determined attitude, we can make this our best one yet.