WHO WE ARE Our mission is to provide students who face extraordinary challenges and who are not supported in traditional high schools with the opportunity to continue their education. Originally chartered in 1996 by the Board of Education and unanimously granted a renewed charter in April 2011 by the DC Public Charter School Board of Trustees, we are the oldest public charter school in DC. WHAT WE DO We offer a bilingual ABE (adult basic education), GED, and ESL program open to all youth between the ages 16-30. Class sizes are small and the student support services department staff includes social workers, case managers, attendance and transportation coordinators, and college and career counselors. Three free, healthy meals per day are available to students and free childcare is offered on-site. We use differentiated instruction, instructional technology, restorative practices and tutors to accommodate a diverse student body. Students receive guidance in order to continue their education beyond the GED at community college, vocational education programs and/or further English proficiency courses. WHO WE SERVE With a full-time day program and part-time evening program, we serve approximately 500 students per year who are some of the most at-risk youth in our city. Over 70% of our students are English language learners; about 20% are parents themselves. Incoming students test at an average of fourth to fifth grade-level in their native language. We offer these students a full academic program in English and Spanish with flexible placement and pacing, extensive and wraparound case management and life skills instruction. Our History The Next Step originated in a program for young parents developed by The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC). As the Teen Parent Program, we provided pregnant and parenting teens with an alternative educational option that would enable them to increase their academic.
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