Model Program

Gateway Academy High School

100 East Lockridge St.
Mayfield, KY 42066

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Contact Information:
Ms. Donna K. Dietz

Program Specification:






Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:

High School


Grade Level
School Wide


Other Participation Criteria:

All Ethnicities

Have referral from a traditional high school or be a dropout


Gateway Academy is a voluntary alternative school that provides opportunities toward academic completion of a high school diploma. GAHS serves students of the Mayfield City and Graves County School Districts and qualified candidates of Western Kentucky. Our goal is to work with students and their families to create opportunities for success, which in turn will increase the number of graduates and lead to community improvement. Gateway has a Workforce Investment Act grant that allows us to help students find paid and unpaid work experiences as well as training in occupational skills, basic skills, character building skills and leadership development; mentoring; counseling; and community involvement.

Program Descriptors Include:
Academic Improvement, Adult Education, Alternative Education, Attendance/Truancy, Career Education, Community Collaboration, Computer Assisted Instruction, Counseling/Advisories/Coaches, Credit Recovery, Extended-School/Summer Program, Family/Parental Involvement, GED, Homeless, Literacy Development, Mentoring/Tutoring, Professional Development, Service Learning, Students with Disabilities, Study Skills, Substance Abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Virtual Learning, Life Skills Training

Strategies for Locating Students:
Phone calls, Home visits, Personalized letters, Newspaper ads, Television ads/radio announcements, Online videos, Website with reenrollment options, Reengagement/resource fairs, Materials distributed in public venues, Posters displayed in public places, Outreach conducted at locations/events attended by youth, Public events focused on dropout recovery, Current students asked to recruit friends, School or district teams to track students, Collaboration with other schools/districts, Collaboration with social service agencies/community-based organizations, Collaboration with law enforcement

Starting Date: 2002
Students Served Per Year: 50-250
Reenrolled Students with Disabilities: 6-10%
Last Verified: 2010

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • Has a learning disability or emotional disturbance
  • High number of work hours
  • Parenthood
  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Highly socially active outside of school
  • Low achievement
  • Retention/overage for grade
  • Poor attendance
  • Low educational expectations
  • Lack of effort
  • Low commitment to school
  • No extracurricular participation
  • Misbehavior
  • Early aggression

Family factors

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • High family mobility
  • Low education level of parents
  • Large number of siblings
  • Not living with both natural parents
  • Family disruption
  • Low educational expectations
  • Sibling(s) has dropped out
  • Low contact with school
  • Lack of conversations about school

School factors

  • Limited resources: expenditures per student/ teacher salaries/ student-teacher ratios
  • School size: too small/too large
  • Race/ethnicity
  • School math achievement
  • School policies and practices
  • Student engagement
  • Teacher expectations

Community factors

  • Family composition/socioeconomic status
  • Local labor market/neighborhood stability
  • Youth social attitudes

Program promotes the following:


  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Involvement with positive peer activities
  • Perception of support from adults and peers


  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards
  • Positive/resilient temperament


  • Social competencies
  • Self efficacy


  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility


  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self
  • Optimistic


  • Comprehensive diagnostic systems
  • Early warning systems
  • Personalized instruction and learning
  • Rigorous and relevant instruction
  • Academic support
  • Instruction on behavior and social skills
  • Supportive school climate
  • Development of vocational skills
  • Encourage family involvement/community supports
  • Teach self-determination and self-advocacy skills including student/person-centered planning
  • Eliminate practices that push students out of school
  • Help students to address problems that interfere with learning

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:

The annual cost range of the program is $200,000 - $500,000 or $1000 - $2000 per student.

Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

Federal Agencies
State Agencies
Local/City/County Agencies
School Districts

Graduation Coaches
School Administrators

Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:

Instructional Texts/Manuals
Computer/Internet Based

Gateway Academy Advisory Board, Graves County Board of Education, Mayfield Independent Board of Education, Purchase Area Development District, West Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, City of Mayfield, Graves County government, West Kentucky Educational Cooperative, other school boards in Western Kentucky Region 1, local businesses and organizations.

Evaluation Information:

Gateway Academy High School has graduated 311 students since its start in January 2002. The students transition rate into college or other post-secondary training, military or workforce is 85 percent in the 2008-09 school year which is up from less than 30 percent in the years prior.

How evaluation data was collected:
Data collected and analyzed at school/district level
Data collected and analyzed at state or organizational level