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Editorâ€™s note: The following is the first in a two-part series on alternative education.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” A new alternative education program rolled out for middle and high school students within Whitley County Consolidated Schools this fall.
Educating students who need something not offered in a traditional classroom is now handled in-house through a program called Eagle Opportunity to Success, a decision approved by school officials in May.
With the decision to fund and staff Eagle Opportunity, the district shoulders the weight of education, counseling and guiding at-risk students.
When teachers and public educators are already stretched thin, and with dollars steadily decreasing for schools in Indiana, WCCSâ€™s decision to retain the responsibility for alternative education has left some wondering why the district severed ties with T.R.O.Y Center Alternative Learning Program, located in Whitley County, just miles from the high school.
â€śEagle Opportunity allows us to maintain the overall vision for our students,â€ť said Columbia City High School Principal Jennifer Reiff.
â€śWe can continue to foster relationships with the students because they are still here under our roof. The district felt that sending these students to an outside agency diminished the chances we could influence that studentâ€™s development. Honestly, these are my students and I frankly donâ€™t want to let go of them.â€ť
T.R.O.Y. Center offers the same diploma as one earned by students at any Indiana high school. However, the program is geared for students who need more than just academics.
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