Helping Students Stay In School - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Helping Students Stay In School

17 year old Jeffrey Rainey has been looking forward to this day for a year.

It's his graduation day at The Compass Center, an alternative campus in Jacksonville where students can go if they are not doing well in a traditional setting.

Dr. Leslie Brinkman-George is the Director of Special Education and Alternative Education in JISD and says, "They have different things going on in their life. Some of them are parenting. Some of them need to have a job to help out the family.  For some, high school is just not the place where they can actually grow."

That was the case with Jeffrey.

"There were too many people. A lot of kids, and you get real distracted and everything, and you don't get a lot of work done," says Rainey.

In the S.T.R.I.D.E. program, there's plenty of self-study time for students who want to move at a faster pace, and lots of one-on-one attention for those who need it. That's what made the difference for Jeffrey.

"The teachers. They were real caring, and they cared about you, and they helped you and everything.  At the high school, they really weren't there for you like these teachers here were," says Rainey.

He was able to complete four years of school in just one year, and he's planning on going to culinary school in Dallas to become a chef.

He says if it weren't for the school, he would have probably been a dropout.

Now, thanks to the Compass Center, his future is headed north.

The Compass Center principal says the school is always at its 60 student capacity. She hopes the city will pass a school bond someday which would enable them to expand.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting:


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