Partnership to help at-risk students

On top of the opportunities given to students through Oxford Crossroads Day School and Oxford Bridges High School, Oxford Schools is partnering with another organization to lend a helping hand to students who are at risk of dropping out.

Graduation  Alliance, a company that  focuses on  helping at-risk students  finish high school at their own  pace, is partnering with Oxford Schools to work alongside high school students to get their diplomas. The program will cost the district minimal funding, and the district will receive full-time equivalency (FTE) funds for the students.

The program will be hosted by Crossroads, and students who complete it will receive an Oxford diploma through Crossroads. The program is not expected to interfere with the work done by Bridges or the Oxford Virtual Academy.

Deputy Superintendent Ken Weaver and Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Denise Sweat informed the board of education of the program and answered questions at the board’s Oct. 9 meeting. According to Weaver, Graduation Alliance has a high success rate in helping teens and adults finish high school.

“(Graduation Alliance) takes a list of students that dropped out of your school or are at risk of dropping out… they work at getting those kids back in or giving them an opportunity to continue their schooling,” Weaver said.

The students will not follow Oxford’s International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, but will work with Graduation Alliance to learn the same material Oxford High School students do in a more personalized way.

“Many of these children have reading issues, and so (Graduation Alliance) takes their reading curriculum and they make it at a Lexile level, that’s a reading level, at their level so they’re able to access the curriculum,” Weaver said.

Students who go through the program will learn in an online environment on computers provided by Graduation Alliance. Sweat said Oxford doesn’t expect to need to offer the program to any more than 20 students per year.

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