HIGH SCHOOL IS A REALITY!
Ribbon Cutting Marks Milestone in New Venture
by John Conway
HURLEYVILLE, September 2021—Officials gathered in Hurleyville on Friday, August 13 for the ceremonial kick off of the new Collaborative College High School with a ribbon cutting at 202 Main Street.
The new venture is a collaboration between the Homestead School of Glen Spey and SUNY Sullivan.
The new high school program – opening this month -builds upon the advanced studies and hands-on learning of the Homestead’s Montessori K-8 school, and in collaboration with SUNY Sullivan, will offer college courses for their inaugural class of ninth-grade students.
The school is being headquartered in the former Technology Hub and incubator building owned by The Center for Discovery, which offered the building for the new partnership. The Center’s THINC operation has been renamed the Innovation Labs and has moved to Rock Hill.
Officials say the Collaborative College High School will continue to offer education in the Montessori model that the Homestead School has successfully employed in their elementary program since 1978, including individualized academic guidance, offering appropriate academic challenge and direction to the needs of a wide range of individuals. CCHS will maintain the low student-to-teacher ratio that has helped make the Homestead School a caring and attentive academic environment. In tandem, the staff of the Homestead, SUNY Sullivan, and The Center for Discovery will provide opportunities for mentorship and counseling that support student growth beyond academics.
“Early Colleges, much like the Montessori movement, operate from the principle that we need to provide quality educational opportunities that help students become the best versions of themselves, and that doesn’t always mean fitting into traditional educational models,” SUNY Sullivan President Jay Quaintance said. “CCHS students will have hands-on opportunities to use SUNY Sullivan’s state-of-the-art labs and onsite organic farm to explore topics including the natural and health sciences, visual arts, and farm to table culinary adventures. Education, now more than ever, needs to develop individuals who understand that a sustainable future requires practiced stewardship, meaningful partnerships and collective wisdom. CCHS seeks to model these ideals in our work and service.”
This type of collaborative educational model between a private high school and public college is unique in the SUNY network.
State University of New York Chancellor Dr. Jim Malatras attended the ribbon cutting, and said, “The new Collaborative College High School will serve as a model for breaking down barriers between K-12 and college, and they are leading the way to not only provide access to students, but excellence in programming, as well. We know that the type of learning children receive is as important as access to education, and the Montessori method is one of the premier methods of educating children. I want to thank SUNY Sullivan President Jay Quaintance for helping to develop this model, and bringing together a grassroots coalition of leaders to make this vision of the collaborative high school a reality.”
This fall, ninth grade students will begin the process of selecting a study track that will allow them to dive deeper into areas that interest them, while their academic pursuits are supported by the specialized facilities and experts available to them.
College level courses will be taught at the Collaborative Hub in the Junior High and as students enter the Senior High program they will have the opportunity to attend classes at SUNY Sullivan.
“An authentic education at the high school level must be a partnership of students, teachers, community members, and organizations,” Jack Comstock, Director of the CCHS, said. “For our students to gain confidence, practical skill, and knowledge they must be actively engaged outside the walls of the classroom. An outstanding community college like SUNY Sullivan is already doing this at the college level and therefore is a perfect partner for bringing this collaborative ethos to the high school level. With six years of Collaborative College High School, and with all of the possibilities for deep learning and deep engagement that lie ahead, Homestead and SUNY Sullivan are together creating a model of education that is rooted in place and global in scope.”