Faith-based alternative school sees big enrollment surge
Back in 2003, The Crossing Educational Center started in Elkhart County to provide a faith-based, alternative school for students who didn’t work well in a traditional school.
What started with 6 students and 2 teachers is now 900 students around northern Indiana.
And now – The Crossing is adding 4 more locations.
The Crossing not only provides lessons in the classroom for its students, but it also has a job training program that started two years ago.
That’s where they pick up job skills while earning high school credit.
It even provides more of an attraction for those who want to attend The Crossing.
In this case, they’re part of a wood working operation.
“We are embedding our curriculum into the job training program besides having a separate classroom situation,” said Director Rob Staley. “The job training program, the hands-on application of academics, is really the glue that holds the thing together.”
“I’m able to build relationships a lot better with teachers,” said student Cody Galloway. “I was bullied a lot, so I have come with C’s and D’s to basically A’s.”
“(The Crossing) is very hands on,” added fellow student Tiffany Burchard. “You’re making the products.”
The job training program is drawing a record number of students into the classroom.
With the success and acceptance of the program over the last couple of years, especially in northern Indiana, The Crossing is continuing its efforts to expand its educational programs even further.
It’s looking at starting schools in Plymouth and Knox as well as two schools in Indianapolis, which would bring the total student population to 1,000 statewide.
Next year, more than 50 public school systems in Indiana will contract to send struggling students to The Crossing facilities.
“The school corporations are becoming more and more excited about a unique project that we have to offer,” added Staley.
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