Students feel at home at alternative high school in Dickinson


Southwest Community High School in Dickinson is home away from home for it’s students, and now it’s expanded to give students room to grow.

This summer the school relocated to a much larger location at the old Hagen Middle School, and principal Kristy Goodall, is making sure the students feel wanted. 

“When my kids come here I want it to be that family. I want them to feel like they need to be here, ” said Goodall.

With the added space, students have more freedom to learn at their own pace.

Kyra Cantor, a senior at Southwest , said it was hard concentrate at the old location because of the size of the rooms: “It was hard to get my work done , cause everything was really cramped”.

The teachers also have better opportunities to work individually with the students.

“They don’t like tell us that their teachers and their here to do this and you here to do this. They actually support you and help you do what you need to do to get through and graduate,” said McKenzie Wilhelm, a senior at Southwest Community High School.

Goodall said the school specializes in helping students who want an alternative to the high school atmosphere.

” This school is designed for those kids who maybe fall through the cracks at the high school. Godless our high school teachers they have 25-30 kids in a class, and unfortunately in the time frame that you have, you can’t meet the needs of every kid, said Goodall.

Southwest Community High School has incredible space to work with, and  they hope it will allow their student body to grow, but currently their enrollment is capped at 26 students because of a lack of staff.

” Ideally I would love to have 7 staff members, then I could service between 45-60 kids,’ said Goodall.

Currently the school is working with only three faculty members, but the results speak for themselves.

 “I completely thought school was pointless. I wanted to be one of those kids that dropped out when they were 18. Here I feel like I can accomplish anything on my own,” said Trinity Randolph, a junior at Southwest High School.

Southwest has more than 10 students on a waitlist looking for admission into the school, but Goodall hopes to graduate some seniors this year so new students can be enrolled.


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