Corning Quality School

The Corning-Painted Post High School Learning Center
An Alternative High School Success Story

Frank Barber, Nick Ely, Liz Cristofaro, Mike Sanfratello,
Dave Quackenbush, Margie VanVleet, Peg Vogel


C-PP teachers and administration came together to create this update that could be a useful guideline for alternative school replication and success.


The Corning-Painted Post School District met with educators, local businesses and community members in 2002 to create an alternative educational option for students struggling in or dropped out of school. In 2003, The C-PP High School Learning Center opened on the Corning Community College campus. The curriculum is directly aligned with the District’s learning goals of Rigor, Relevance and Relationships with an emphasis on Relationships. Ten years of statistics prove the effectiveness of the school.

New student orientation includes teaching Dr. William Glasser’s internal vs. external control, the 7 Deadly Habits, the 7 Caring Habits and personal responsibility for choices. Students are introduced to The Guiding Principles and investigate what those behaviors would look like through a variety of activities. Each is demonstrated in the structure of the school. The Guiding Principles include:

  • Mutual Respect

Students and staff demonstrate respect in school, the community and in work placements. As a result, the school environment is a safe one in which there have been no fights in 10 years.

  • Commitment and Self-Discipline

100% attendance is expected. Students call if ill and schedule times to make up missed time and work. Students take ownership of their learning process which requires focused participation and self-reflection.

  • Excellence

Students work for quality. The only grades are on the New York State required examinations in various disciplines.

  • Growth

Students write and give a “Presentation of Learning” each of 3 trimesters to a chosen panel detailing academic progress (or lack thereof), evidence of personal growth and goals for the next trimester. A teaching piece is included to be given to staff and students.
Overall Rating: 5 5 out of 5 | 1 Review The Overall Rating is the school’s average rating from parents, students, school faculty and staff. The highest rating is five apples and the lowest is one apple.

  • Integrity and Ethics

Students work a required 15 hours per week (paid) in the community. Each is expected to be on time, demonstrate a good work ethic and avoid being in the local paper’s “Police Beat.” Over 130 local businesses and not-for-profit organizations have served as mentors.

  • Citizenship

Students donate 10 hours of community service per trimester to build relationships, move from a feeling of disconnectedness to being connected and contributing by demonstrating the importance of giving back to the community.

  • Shared Responsibility

Students and staff work together to create a culture of respect for each individual and for the learning process which results in the well-being of the school with everyone invited to contribute.

  • Leadership

Each student is expected to be a leader and to detail in the Presentation of Learning how that was demonstrated. Graduation occurs at the end of each trimester for students who have completed graduation requirements. Each student gives a speech at Graduation. Leadership encompasses all of the Guiding Principles so that all members of the school contribute and show initiative.

Students ages 16-19 who live in the Corning-Painted Post School District may apply for acceptance. Each must then attend an interview with teaching staff, current students and business and community representatives. Those students who apply but are not accepted are challenged to demonstrate change and commitment, develop a plan and reapply. Those who are accepted have met the criteria of not being successful in the traditional school, are capable of earning a college-prep diploma and demonstrate a desire to change. Twice while in Corning, Dr. Glasser visited the school and met with students and staff.

Student Testimonials

“I once was very self-conscious and didn’t care about anything. I always thought people were judging me for my looks and I was afraid to talk to people. I had no goals for myself and could care less where I ended up. Now, from my experience at the High School Learning Center, I have confidence in myself and I have accomplished things I never thought I would have. I have learned how to deal with people who do judge me and I have learned to open up and talk to people more. I also have goals for my future. I plan to start college in the fall at Corning Community College and major in Criminal Justice.”– Heather

“It seemed that I was all but a wilting flower, thirsty and in need to get out of the drought I was in. Finally, I was accepted into the beautiful garden known as the High School Learning Center where I was showered with knowledge and hope. There, I grew into the successful being I am today. I couldn’t be more thankful.” – Kaylara

Corning -Painted Post High School Learning Center Statistics

  • 100 Percentage of students accepted who were at risk of dropping out of school for academic failure or discipline issues.
  • 458 Total number of applicants 2003-2012
  • 300 Total number of applicants accepted
  • 85 Number of applicants who had already dropped out
  • 24 Number of applicants who were on home teaching
  • 92 Percentage of students who passed the Jan. 2012 N.Y.S. Regents examinations
  • 141 Number of graduates as of September, 2012
  • 65-7 Percentage of students who have gone on to a 2 year college
  • 14 Percentage of graduates who have gone on to a 4 year college
  • 19,000 plus Number of community service hours contributed

Please visit Congratulations on a job done extraordinarily well!

Reprinted from WGI-US Newsletter March 2013

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