Over the past ten years, there has been a push for alternative schools to reinvent the high school experience to combat dropout rates for the non-traditional school setting. In 2017, MIT made that move to an accelerated diploma model, and the Duarte Board of Education overwhelmingly approved of a decrease of 30 electives credits and 10 English credits, bringing the graduation requirement from 220 to 180. Incidentally, we made the same change in 2015 for our adult school and independent study programs. This change had a huge impact on student learning and motivation. We have seen an increase in the number of students who graduate early. Students now enter community college earlier or finish school to enter the workforce sooner. We find that these students are bored with the slow pace of traditional high school and want to complete high school as soon as possible. Our student demographics has shifted as well. We are receiving more gifted and talented students who again just want to finish high school and move forward with life. No matter the reason or situation, the accelerated diploma program keeps students actively engaged and motivated. Students and parents love the program because learning is focused, flexible, personalized, self-paced, and suited for the 21st century learner. The accelerated diploma program offers the following academic programs:
Opportunity School (9th grade)
The Opportunity School assists students who have not been successful in high school their first year. Students not finding success academically and/or struggling socially transfer to MIT after all other interventions have failed. Students remain in the program for at least one semester and must earn their way back to the comprehensive high school.
Continuation High School (10th – 12th grade)
This program is for students’ ages 16 through 18 who have not been successful at the comprehensive high school and are considerably behind in credits and/or have had behavior challenges. They transfer involuntarily to the MIT and remain in the program until they catchup academically; but many remain at MIT and graduate. Parents may voluntarily place students in MIT as a school of choice as well.
Special Education Program (9th -12th grade)
The Special Education program runs with a .66 FTE instructor, .75 FTE instructional aide, who teach needed skills, academics designed to help learners achieve the greatest possible personal self-sufficiency and success in school and community.
Independent Study Program (9th – 12th grade)
Independent Studies is for students who are behind in credits and have had attendance issues due to pregnancy, work or illness. This program allows students to work at their own pace from home while maintaining a job, caring for their child, or recovering from a severe illness. Students can remain in this program and earn their high school diploma or return to MIT or the comprehensive high school, if they are capable due to their circumstances.
Career Technical Education (9th – 12th grade)
Duarte Unified School District is a member of Career Technical Education K12 Foothill Consortium, which includes Azusa, Charter Oaks and Monrovia Unified School Districts. MIT students have the opportunity to enroll in CTE courses offered, at MIT, Duarte High School, Monrovia Adult School, San Gabriel Valley ROP, or other participating CTE or Regional Occupational Programs. We see the expansion of our participation in the CTE program as an excellent way to develop career pathways for our students.
English Learner Support (9th – 12th grade)
Mt. Olive Innovation and Technology High School utilizes Acellus Academy Online and supplemental materials to assist with EL instruction. Taiwan Alvarado, English teacher and EL support, provides the names and EL levels to teachers with recommendations on making content more accessible to EL’s in their subject matter. ELD instructional aide, Jose Maya provides EL support in small groups and one-on-one in mathematics, science, social studies, and Acellus directed studies classes.
Duarte Adult School (18 years and older)
Mt. Olive Innovation and Technology High School falls under Education Code 44865, an alternative education setting, and can teach classes primarily for adults. DAS is a 100% online program for adults looking to earn their high school diploma