Reclaiming Individual Talent or RIT (pronounced RITE) is a special alternative program that has been in operation in our district since early 1994. The program was initially started to address the needs of expelled or suspended students with behavior problems that could not be managed in the regular high school or middle school setting. Over the past years, the program has changed considerably to identify and reach the highly at-risk students who challenge the ability of the regular high school to meet their needs. The RIT Program serves students who have been expelled, pregnant teens, young people in transition from mental health and drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers, students with significant truancy problems, students who are extremely isolated socially, students who have limited family, church, or community support structures, returning students who need just a few credits to graduate, and students with special medical problems.
Students are accepted from grades seven through twelve, with the majority in grades eleven and twelve. Student placement in the program is based on administrative referral. A team of professionals -- staff at RIT, high school counselors, administrators, psychologists, and teachers -- meet weekly to discuss how students are progressing in the program and to take new recommendations. Students may attend the RIT Program exclusively or in combination with other classes at the high school or at the Delta Program, another educational alternative.
RIT has moved! We are currently located at 154 West Nittany Avenue where our facilities are spacious and business oriented. If you would like to visit our school, please call us at 231-1000 to set up an appointment. Transportation is provided by the district on an as needed basis, using the Learning Enrichment/Student Services bus runs as much as possible.
Students have the opportunity to gain work experience and/or complete community service through the Diversified Occupations course. A certified Diversified Occupations teacher and job coach is on site at the program daily to teach interview skills, build a resume, and prepare the student for the world of work if they choose this option.
Students attend for a minimum of four hours per day and work independently with some very small group instruction in the area of diversified occupations and communications skills. All major subjects are taught such as English, social studies, science, and math. Health courses are available, and physical education courses are offered through partnership with the YMCA. One hour of Diversified Occupations is offered to students wishing to secure a job. When students decide on a job of their choice in the local community, they are eligible for additional elective credits based on the number of hours worked. These credits are applied towards graduation from State High. The student to teacher ratio is fifteen-to-one with paraprofessional support included. The addition of a career counselor in the fall of 2000 enables students to have an advocate helping them work toward future goals and to assist with transitioning back to the high school.
The RIT program has two teachers, one instructional paraprofessional, a counselor, and a part-time diversified occupations teacher.
The mission of the RIT Program is to provide individualized instruction in all academic areas as well as career instruction in a supportive environment. Our goal is to successfully transition students back to the home school, to post secondary education, or to a career after high school. We aim to build community ties through service learning and supervised work experience. We provide therapeutic adventure-based experiences and cultural and pro-social experiences through group activities and mentoring relationships. A continuum of care is created which includes various service agencies within the local community in order to address the specific needs of our students.
Our curriculum has been written by teachers from the State College Area High School and the Delta Program. It is based on Pennsylvania Department of Education standards. Similar materials, activities, and textbooks are used that the school board approved for all regular high school students; however, the courses are usually administered on an individual basis, according to student ability and need. Additionally, career counseling and a Life Ways course are offered to students by our career counselor. A diversified occupations teacher and job coach are available for students seeking a direct connection to the work world.
The RIT Program has expanded to include a regular, supervised mentoring component. All mentors are fully trained and supervised adults from the community, ranging from retired citizens to college students. Mentoring provides tutoring, creative outlets, and positive social and community service outings to our students. Mentor/Student contact is maintained weekly with additional monthly meetings for sharing ideas and program development.
The length of time that a student remains at RIT depends on the needs of that student. Some stay for a few weeks and then return to the regular high school. Others stay at the RIT program where they can receive more individualized attention. Some upper grade level students decide to finish their senior year at RIT and graduate.
Last updated: Oct. 24, 2005, firstname.lastname@example.org