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The Packer Weekly: Kasowski takes support and explores options to take new route after incident

By Logan and Brittany Community senior Lexi Kasowski starts her car as she wipes tears from her eyes, begging for closure. She approaches the high school and heads straight for counselor Deb Egge’s room, struggling to hold in the gut wrenching news she just heard. She pours her emotions out to Egge explaining that her daughter Mariah had passed due to an unfortunate event of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

“When she [Mariah] passed away I stopped going to school,” Kasowski said. “When I went to [West Fargo High School] I couldn’t even stay in class because I would have breakdowns, so I went to Community.”

Community High School (CHS) is an alternative education structure compared to that of a traditional high school. The students at CHS have a morning session dedicated to one class and an afternoon session dedicated to a different class. The students are expected to complete a credit every 30 days.

“At a traditional high school if you think of a surf wave where the entire class is on the wave, in 18 weeks it hits the shore,” Community Principal David Gravel said. “Well, at Community, everyone gets their own wave. Whereas, at a traditional school, you might have fallen off your surf board 17 weeks ago.”

According to Gravel, students attend CHS for various reasons. Some students transferring from a Class B school may not be comfortable in a larger class size and CHS gives them the opportunity to learn in a comfortable atmosphere, while others may be looking to graduate early.

“We’ve had to tweak a few things throughout the year,” Gravel said. “Success isn’t measured here. It is about when is the right time for the student.”

Because it does not have the traditional high school route, CHS science teacher Lisa Foulkes worries about the students’ misconceptions.

“They think ‘it’s just a GED program or a bunch of dropouts,’ but that is not the case,” Foulkes said. “There are a lot misconceptions and once you really do know what Community High is really like, then you know whether it is for you or whether it is not for you. When they come here for a couple days and realized the work it is not what they expected.”

Gravel said all students have different situations when entering Community. The goal of Community is to first deal with what is happening in the lives of students, because without dealing with their situations, they can’t get a quality education. Foulkes believes that with Lexi’s situation, she is handling CHS well.

“Kids come over here and they make certain connection with teachers and discussing things with them and you get a chance to talk,” Foulkes said. “I think [Lexi] is doing fabulous. I feel like over here you get a better opportunity to know the students and the students get to know you as a teacher. That connection can help bring someone out maybe if they are in a low spot in their life.”

Kasowski has three and half more credits before graduating from Community a year earlier than she would at a traditional high school. Kasowski’s second baby girl is due on March 22nd and she plans to take a year off of school to spend time with her. She plans on attending a four year college in the fall of 2015.

“I am so glad I went,” Kasowski said. “If there wasn’t a Community, I would have dropped out.”

(The Packer Weekly is an ongoing column authored by journalism students at West Fargo High School with the intent of providing awareness about and insight into a variety of school-related topics and activities. For additional information visit