BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Every year, more than a million students across the nation drop out of high school. Officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) have created a way for at-risk students, or students who have already dropped out of school, to still earn their diploma.
In the United States, 7,000 students drop out of high school each day, a statistic neither a parent, nor a teacher, wants their child to be a part of.
This year, 225 students have dropped out of EBRPSS.
Keith Bromery, the Executive Director of Communications for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, says they're trying to change the dropout rate with a new program called Moving Forward.
High school students 17 years of age and older who are at risk of dropping out of school as well as for former students who have left school before earning a high school diploma, can earn their diploma through the program.
Moving Forward is a comprehensive, flexible academic program that involves an interactive web-based instructional approach with teachers available on-line on an around the clock basis to interact with students. The program requires only a half day of in-class participation by students.
Students who successfully complete the Moving Forward alternative education program will earn a regular high school diploma.
"This program is intended to engage at-risk students and former students who have dropped out of school in a quality alternative education experience tailored to their needs," said Superintendent Dr. Bernard Taylor Jr. "It is certainly the case that some of our students and former students are challenged for many reasons taking the traditional path to a high school diploma. This program provides an attractive alternative way of achieving this goal."
Bromery says in this day and age, a high school diploma is a must.
"We're trying to provide students with as many options as we can to see them through to a diploma, because if you don't have at least a high school diploma in this world, you're going to be pressed to get a high paying job that can support a family," he said.
Director of the Family and Youth Service Center Roxsin Welch says she applauds the effort of a new program, but says there needs to be more methods of getting a diploma than online.
"This method, with a computer program, will work for some kids," she said. "Some kids that's what they do and they're good at it, and that's one method. Of course that's not going to be the only one. It can't possibly be the only way to do that, because kids learn the way they learn best."
Either way, it is making a difference for students and people of Baton Rouge, one course at a time.
Informational meetings regarding the program have been scheduled as follows:
• Thursday, September 25 at 10 a.m. -- Instructional Resource Center, 1022 South Foster Drive, Baton Rouge 70806
• Saturday, September 27 at 10 a.m. -- McKinley Alumni Center, 1520 Thomas H. Delpit Drive, Baton Rouge 70802
Additional information about the program is available at (225) 922-5663.