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Midway ISD to offer a non-traditional high school experience to help transition to life after grade school

Students who opt in to the "Horizons" program will have two opportunities available to them: they can choose to focus on a college plan or a career plan.

HEWITT, Texas — Midway Independent School District is looking to expand the horizons for its students by adding a non-traditional high school experience.

The new alternative high school program is called "Horizons" and it will have two opportunities available to students enrolling for the 2022-2023 school year.

"Horizons is a small non-traditional high school campus that we decided to implement to respond to learners who don't fit the typical 6-A environment and need more support," said Horizons Principal Dr. Valerie Willis.

It's a jumpstart for the after high school experience.

"Your future is on the horizon and we're going to make that connection cause that's how close it is," Willis said.

Students who opt into Horizons will have two opportunities available to them. They can choose to focus on a college plan or a career plan.

The career plan has students in less class time as they get more time to be in a work environment.

"The career prep one class we offer, they have to work 10 hours a week but when they get to their senior year -- they work 15 so it's just that slow transfer of all that responsibility," Willis explained.

The college path lets students take college basic classes through McLennan Community College while also completing high school.

There's even a chance for them to get an associate's degree at the same time they get their high school diploma.

Students in Horizons will have a more flexible schedule compared to traditional high school. They'll also get to learn important life skills, too. 

"Financial math teaches them how to balance an account, checkbook pay taxes," Willis added.

Horizons will have a campus of it's own and will be designed to feel more collegiate with collaborative spaces and lecture style classrooms.

Midway ISD wants to help make sure students have a smoother transition, something they might not get as much in traditional high school.

"This does that slow transfer of responsibility to the student in a controlled way while also teaching them them the appropriate systems to help them be successful," Willis said. "We're going to have to model and teach it if we're going to expect it."

As students in the Horizons program get their jumpstart for life after grade school, Willis says they will not lose the whole big high school experience.

"It's still a program under the high school, so they still walk the stage with midway high school students, their diplomas still say Midway High School, they still go to prom and all of those activities," she said. "But, day to day, they're not in the hustle bustle of a 6-A high school."

The new Horizons campus will be ready in March 2022 and will be open for the fall semester of the 2022-2023 school year.

The program is only taking 100 students this year and there are only 35 spots left.

Those interested in the program can apply by filling out a google form and sharing a video on why the horizons program would be good for them.

Click here to apply.