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Private School to Work With At-risk Students

By June 14, 2009 No Comments

Posted: June 14, 2009 in Indy Star Fort Wayne » An Allen County school district is turning to a private, faith-based school to help troubled students who have been incarcerated or expelled or have dropped out of school. Last year, more than 700 students from East Allen County Schools were either dropouts or had an unknown graduation status. Beginning this fall, some of them will be attending the state-accredited Crossing Educational Center. The private school was approved by the East Allen School Board in April, and Rob Staley, executive director of the Crossing, has begun recruiting students and is looking for a school facility in the New Haven area. Staley said the school works with public schools in the communities it serves . “Our vision is transforming lives through education by focusing on the heart and mind,” he said. “We believe that if we can’t get to a kid’s heart, then we can’t change their behavior.” As long as the students are enrolled in the district, Staley said, their state funding will follow them to the Crossing. Board President Stephen Terry said he and others hopes the district’s Crossing school can produce the same results that have been seen in other Northern Indiana districts that have Crossing schools. In Elkhart alone, the Crossing has helped cut the district’s dropout rate by 45 percent. “In a traditional classroom setting, it just didn’t work. Now, we have a nontraditional method where we do life first,” Terry said. “I believe we’re going to give more people in the community a second chance at life.” The Crossing program began with five students in Elkhart in 2003. By next year, it will have grown to 350 students at eight campuses in 11 Indiana school districts, Staley said. —- View Indy Star Article: Click Here]]>