Moberly HS holds night school to help kids graduate

We've all heard of summer school for struggling teenagers, but what about night school? At this week's Board of Education meeting in Moberly, administrators and board members approved a new initiative to increase graduation rates: a night school program.

In this Education Report KRCG sits down with Moberly High School prinicipal about what he thinks the new opportunity will do for his students.

"We had a group of students that had a need. For one reason or another, they've fallen behind in their credits, whether it was through lack of effort, lack of ability, whatever the case may be," says Moberly High School. Principal Aaron Vitt.

Vitt says administrators at Moberly wanted to step in and give students one more opportunity to get the credits they need to graduate. Vitt also says the seven hour school day was not giving some students enough time to make up that ground. The Moberly school board also saw night school as a way to proactivly help the younger classmen.

"If we catch them now and keep them caught up, it doesn't snowball and build on itself later," says Vitt. "So as a junior or senior they're not a whole grade level behind."

Night classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Vitt says this could help the district close in on their 2010 goal of 90 percent graduation. Nearly 88 percent of students graduated in 2008.

Vitt tells me the new night school program is not just for those students who need to make up a few credits. He says its a great opportunity for all students to use the high school's resources.

"Not every student has a computer at home. Not every student has the Internet at home," says Vitt. "And there's a lot of school projects anymore that require...I don't want to say computers per se, but word processing. I doubt too many of those homes have typewriters anymore. So, some of the things we're doing in the classroom, those students don't have at home and this would give them that opportunity."

Vitt says the district plans to hire an additional teacher and teacher's aide to run the program. He says those are the only expenses that go along with the program.

Vitt also said if the program just helps one student receive their diploma, it will be well worth it.

Students will be given the list of assignments and tests to complete for each course and must make a passing grade to receive the make-up credit. Vitt says the program has gotten a great response from the students surveyed. The night school classes will begin at the end of the month.