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Different road at The Crossing

By February 23, 2010No Comments

School is educational alternative for EACS students By Ashley Smith of The News-Sentinel Posted on Tue. Feb. 23, 2010 – 10:10 am EDT Alisa Shepard just wasn’t cutting it in school. She had fallen behind, and admits she was more interested in socializing than homework. Soon that falling behind became never catching up, and last May, she dropped out of Leo Junior-Senior High School. Shepard, 18, got her GED, but wanted a better future – one that came with a high school diploma. A new program sponsored by East Allen County Schools is helping her on that path. Shepard is one of 21 students attending the Crossing Educational Center in New Haven. It is a faith-based private school targeted at EACS district students who have been incarcerated, expelled, dropped out or who do not work well within the traditional school model. The school meets in two, three-hour sessions each day in which students work mostly on computers at their own pace with the help of three instructors. Students are pulled out for 30-minute sessions each day for “family time,” which allows them to share issues in their lives or, as on Monday, do an exercise stressing how much certain personal values are important to them. “We just get them to talk about some issues going on in their lives,” said Luke Caldwell, New Haven campus coordinator. The session ends with prayer requests. The Crossing program began in Elkhart in 2003 as a state-accredited private school that works hand-in-hand with the public schools in the communities in which it serves. It has grown from five students to 350, with eight campuses around Indiana working with 11 school districts. EACS approved the partnership last year, and the Crossing began earlier this school year at 909 Main St. in New Haven. Students in the program work at their own pace making up their needed credits. Upon completion, they receive a diploma from the Crossing, from the school they dropped out of or from the area in which they live. Not every student at the Crossing is a dropout. In fact, 17-year-old Chris Thomas is a home-school student who was looking to add more structure to his day. “It’s more of a close-knit thing,” Thomas said about the Crossing. The school is so close-knit, in fact, that just last week, the students gave a baby shower to two of the girls in the class who are expecting. “I think it’s more of a family thing than a classroom,” Thomas said. The Crossing represents students from every high school in the East Allen district. Students are recommended by their previous schools and then enroll to finish their high school careers. For Shepard, it means a diploma, a college degree and a brighter future. “I realize that being social isn’t as important,” she said. “(I know now) I need to buckle down and be able to get things done.”

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For more info on the Crossing, visit www.]]>