New Program Launched to Keep Students from Dropping Out of School

A high school in Pasco is launching a new program to help increase the graduation rate.

New Horizons high school launched the new program called Restorative Opportunity Center also known as ROC.

Principal Brian Leavitt tells us the program is for students who often get suspended from school.

The idea is to give them the option to work in a classroom where their needs can be met instead of spending the entire day out of school.

Students are given a full scale assessment to determine the source of their problems, then provided with specific skills and tools to help them make good choices and stay in school.

Leavitt and a teacher explain how they work with students and why this is so important.

"It may be counceling, it may be teaching the student how to be a student, how to take notes in class, behavior modification or bringing in the family and doing some family dynamics things, it's very individualized," said Leavitt.

"When we have students in the cycle of being suspended that are out of class, they lose a lot of instructional time," said Seth Johnson, a teacher at New Horizons. "They lose time in the classoom, it makes it so I have less time to get to know that student."

ROC is a pilot that started in January and so far, there are 12 students in the program.

The long term goal, keeping students from dropping out of school, increasing the graduation rate.

School officials say, if this programs proves to be successful, it will be implemented throughout the district.

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