BOISE, Idaho — The Salvation Army of Ada County Friday announced plans to expand the learning model at its school for pregnant and parenting teens -- Booth Marian Pritchett High School -- at their new building in west-central Boise.
Staff and volunteers will use a temporary online forum at the school beginning in the fall of 2020 that serves students throughout the Treasure Valley -- and announced plans to launch a new charter school by fall of 2021.
They say the school will be designed to serve a greater age range of students, increase enrollment, and help prepare students to enter the workforce.
“The Booth program has evolved over the years to include partners like the Boise School District and other providers who share our passion for supporting and nurturing these students and their babies,” said Major Michael Halverson, Treasure Valley Coordinator for The Salvation Army. “We would like to expand our offering beyond district borders and serve students throughout the Valley.”
During the transition to the charter school, The Salvation Army says it will continue to ensure access to online classes, social services and necessary items such as food, diapers and clothing for students.
While teen pregnancy numbers have dropped slightly, there is still a demand for an estimated 100 students a year who need a nurturing and safe environment to attend class while caring for an infant.
“We’ve taken some time this winter to analyze our program structure,” said Lynette Standley, Chair of the Advisory Board’s Programs Committee. “We want to ensure we are providing an educational center for excellence to serve our current and future students. There are some limitations with our current model, and we feel strongly we can expand what we’re offering in this beautiful new facility.”
Halverson said the Advisory Board and staff believe the priority is to enhance services and innovate for the future with the following:
•Provide a flexible school model that serves teen parents and a wider age range of students throughout the Treasure Valley (without district borders) in earning their high school diploma
•Expand enrollment at the new school, built in 2019, to serve 120 students
•Offer workforce development opportunities so students are ready to support their families
“This summer, we intend to hold an education forum that assembles community and education leaders,” Standley said. “These esteemed leaders will bring research, ideas and best practices together to inform our unique charter and help us design the right model -– while honoring the history, sprit and dedication of William Booth and Marian Pritchett.”
“We are celebrating nearly 100 years of caring for and educating pregnant and parenting students in the Boise area,” said Halverson. “The original Booth Home and School was launched in Boise in1921, and this unique program has helped an estimated 20,000 students and babies in that time.
“It goes without saying, the Advisory Board and staff at The Salvation Army of Ada County are very excited about this new chapter as we look ahead at our next 100 years of education excellence,” he added.