In any environment, no matter how ideal, the education of our youth is a daunting task. The process of educating youth becomes even more difficult when it involves children for whom other issues stand in the way of education – issues such as disruptive behavior, incorrigibility, academic obstacles, bullying and/or peer pressure.
Dr. Robert Ketterer Charter School was the first public charter school in Westmoreland County founded in 1998. Now known as Ketterer Charter School, it is an independent school that serves as a Local Education Agency with the same responsibilities for Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as all other Pennsylvania public schools. The charter school was created to address the specific needs of children who struggle in the traditional public school environment. Ketterer Charter School excels at working with students who are having difficulties conforming to a traditional public school setting to gain the skills necessary to develop academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally to be successful and return to their home school district. The school offers small classroom sizes with a student to staff ratio of 10:1. The school also partners with Adelphoi, a non-profit organization, to provide educational services to some of their youth in residential placement.
The educational opportunities available at the Charter School are aligned with Pennsylvania Department of Education’s regulations and guidelines. Within the Charter School, there is an abundance of educational opportunities available. Youth are engaged in a full academic schedule that is individualized to meet their individual needs. Ketterer Charter School offers a curriculum based on the PA Core and is tailored to meet the individual needs of the youth it serves. Students with exceptionalities also receive additional support from four special education coordinators in an inclusive setting.
Behaviorally, students are provided with a variety of behavior support interventions as well. All classrooms contain an appropriately PA certified teacher, guidance counselor, special education coordinators, therapist and student support services personnel. All staff involved with our students have been trained in de-escalation, safe crisis management, contracting, Reality Therapy/Choice Theory and behavior modification strategies.