Missing Pathways: One Student Reflects on Closed School and Moving to WBHS


By Stephanie Snyder, Current Staff

Fitting in at a new school can be frightening.

Pathways Charter School was closed by the West Bend School District in June, which means this fall Pathways students like me moved to East and West High Schools fulltime. The transition hasn’t always been easy.

Luckily, I knew where to go on the first day because the students at the high schools had no problem helping me. The emotional strain of the first day was overwhelming and it’s embarrassing to admit that I cried eight times and ended up leaving every class. Meeting new people is a hardship and what made it harder was all the people reminding me Pathways was closed and I was “new.”

Being a Pathways kid, I have a few friends who are at the school who were also at Pathways and I have a few more friends from when I was a part-time student at the high schools. No one has a problem helping or letting me sit with them. A lot of students help me when I’m lost or not sure what to do. Although the transition was hard, and I miss my old Pathways teachers, the teachers here also understand my struggles and seem to be trying to help.

A large part of the transition involves emotions, which are hard to deal with. I miss Pathways because it helped me a lot, but I also understand that there were reasons for why it was closed. I feel angry because Pathways helped so many students, but I’m happy, too, because I have so many memories and learned many life lessons. Pathways made me a better person but I now understand that it was just a stop on the long road ahead of me.

What I’ve learned is that it’s okay to feel the way I do. These feelings are all valid. Sometimes I am mad at teachers and students at the high schools, but I know I shouldn’t be because it’s not their fault that Pathways closed. I try to be nice and try to be myself.

Still, I can’t help but feel lonely.

There are so many students at WBHS and I can’t talk to my teachers here the same way I could at Pathways. That makes me sad. But I know I’ll get through it. It’s hard, but all transitions are hard. And I know that the people at the high schools are nice and willing to help me, and the other Pathways kids, throughout the hard times and also the good times.

The Current welcomes submissions from all students, faculty, administration, and community members, but reserves the right to edit for length or content.  Any column, editorial, or letter to the editor expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the entire staff.


Filed under School News and Features, Viewpoint

3 responses to “Missing Pathways: One Student Reflects on Closed School and Moving to WBHS

  1. shan4606

    Very well written. My son had to make the change also, very difficult transition. I wish Pathways could’ve stayed open for the benefit of learning for these students.

  2. Victoria

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings openly. I am so sorry for the loss of your former school, it is clear that it has made an impact in your life. I appreciate that you are willing to share how difficult it is at times so that all of us can understand.

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