August 22, 2012
The following is a joint news release from the Department of Corrections and ASD.
JUNEAU – The Alaska Department of Corrections and the Anchorage School District have cooperatively opened The New Path High School in a 32-bed living unit at the Anchorage Correctional Complex.
Classes begin Thursday with 21 students – sentenced and unsentenced offenders adjudicated into the adult system who are under age 22 and lack a high school diploma. These students are enrolled in the Anchorage School District, which employs the school's two full-time and three part-time teachers, one of whom serves as principal, Nichelle Mauk. The school's capacity is 32 students.
Instructors will teach Math and Science, Language Arts, Social Science and Special Education. The first days of school will be dedicated to assessments in order to best place students at appropriate grade levels within the different subject areas.
"We expect the prisoner population to spend every day incarcerated working to reform. Working toward a high school diploma is one way to do that," said Commissioner Joe Schmidt.
"This high school program is intended to allow prisoners to take a new direction, one that does not include criminal behavior," said Deputy Commissioner Carmen Gutierrez.
"It's never a waste of time to educate," said the school's new principal.
"Working with the Department of Corrections is giving the school district a great opportunity to provide educational services to an underserved population," said ASD Superintendent Jim Browder.
Previously this program was located at Spring Creek Correctional Center and was operated by the Kenai-Peninsula Borough School District.