It’s the goal of school leaders and community members to ensure that every child has a successful chance at achieving the maximum amount of learning possible in order to make every child a productive member of society.
While a majority of students achieve that, others fall through the cracks. Home lives may be disruptive which leads to unsuccessful learning and bad life choices, or a child may not have what it takes to learn in a traditional school setting. The Crossing alternative school takes those struggling kids and helps them succeed in becoming a successful student.
School officials and school board members from the Knox, North Judson-San Pierre and Oregon-Davis schools met with representatives from The Crossing alternative school Thursday morning to discuss this very topic.
CEO Rob Staley explained that The Crossing works with public schools to guide students who have dropped out, have been expelled or transitioned to home schooling to get them the education they need to succeed.
“We work exclusively with the public schools as a partnership and we focus on students who have not been successful in a traditional school environment. They may be in the school, but not doing well, or they may be out of school because they’ve dropped out or have been expelled. We focus primarily on struggling students. As a matter of fact, our mission is ’empowering struggling students to become contributing members of their community through academics, job training and faith-based mentoring’,” explained Staley.
When the school formed in 2003, officials went to struggling kids and asked how could a school help them learn. The responses they got were self-paced learning and a chance to air problems in a “family-type” setting with their peers. The students also wanted to get experience in a work place and engage in real-life skills. Staley said they build their curriculum around those areas of need.
“Our school is basically designed to focus on four core areas. Academics – we’re a state accredited school; Character – we focus on establishing good character in our students based on some biblical concepts; and we also have a leadership component where we think our kids are tremendous leaders but we will build that leadership characteristic in their lives. The last and most important is a career project and our students will be involved in a job training program which will eventually result in our students being placed out in jobs in the community.”
Staley believes that a Starke County Crossing school, if approved to come to the county by the three Starke County schools, would be successful for county students.
“The Crossing model will be set up to build a local board of directors around our school for support and for mentorships and to provide resources. We have no doubt in our mind that it will be successful in this community.”
A contract would be drawn up for each school corporation and combined, the county schools would need to come up with 35 students to participate in The Crossing school setting. The ideal start for this school would be Aug. 1 and work will start immediately as soon as each school board has committed to this idea.
The school officials who attended the meeting Thursday appeared to want to move forward with this and a formal decision will be handed down soon.
For more information about The Crossing, visit www.crossingeducation.com.