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Alternative Learning (Panther Learning Center)

PLC Wall

The Panther Learning Center (PLC) offers programs and services to support Derby High School (DHS) students through credit recovery, credit acceleration, modified programming, and college/career guidance through an individualized student support program for academic success.


PLC students are encouraged to participate in all courses, athletics, and other related activities (as long as the student meets criteria),  and student supports such as tutoring. The benefits of keeping students included and connected to their high school curriculum and social structures are the best options for most students’ education and mental health as this is the least restrictive setting. PLC students are earning a Derby High School diploma and are required to meet state requirements as approved by the Board of Education.

DHS students can be referred by DHS staff, parents, community agency partners, or by self referral. Referred students may be considered “at risk” due to achievement levels, attendance, mental/physical health concerns or personal needs due to significant life events. Potential PLC students must be willing to participate in the program to re-engage with their education and be open to support and services that are needed to assist them with a positive post secondary outcome. Positive post secondary outcomes are defined by employment, technical college, four year college, or military career. The PLC also encourages students to learn skill sets needed for independent living. 

After a referral has been made,  the student and parent/guardian are contacted to schedule a time for a face to face meeting and are scheduled to tour and learn about the programs offered through the PLC. After the initial meeting, if the student and parent(s) are interested, the parent and student are sent the PLC Student Support Program application links. If approved, the parent, student, DHS administrator, counselor or other needed team members will meet to create an individualized  PLC Student Support Plan that will address credit recovery, attendance, social emotional supports, career-vocational goals or other identified areas of need. The plan will be reviewed with the student on a biweekly basis with the social worker or Director of Alternative Learning. After the advisement session, the document will be scanned to the student, parent, counselor, and administrator. Other individuals may be added as requested or needed to support the student in their program. 


Questions? Please contact Luan Sparks, Director of Alternative Learning, lsparks@usd260.com.
Panther Learning Center Phone: (316) 788-8499

PLC Student Process

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