GEO High School Students Not Letting Covid Drag Them Down
Posted January 14th, 2022 at 1:37 pm
As the country continues to confront learning loss caused by Covid, I’m proud to report all GEO schools are open and in-person teaching. Our schools are the safest place for our students and staff. We’ve installed new filtration systems, new virus-killing lighting, increased cleaning, and we observe social distancing, etc. I’m extremely proud to share that our students and staff fully support in-person learning, too.
Now, what’s happening in the schools? We are accelerating, baby!
In every GEO school–Baton Rouge, Gary and Indianapolis–we have more students taking college courses this semester compared to their first semester. Next Gen Baton Rouge jumped from 63 students in the first semester to 90 students this semester taking real college classes. That’s about a third of our entire high school population in Baton Rouge. Next Gen Indy jumped from 61 to 72 students (almost half our student population) taking real college classes this semester. And in Gary, 21st Century Charter jumped from 114 students last semester to 176 students this semester taking college classes (again, nearly half our high school student population). We even have 12 8th graders who have qualified to start taking their first intro to college courses. How about that?
All of these numbers are important but remember, there are real students behind each number. Real families. Real stories of triumph. Stories of students who have people who believe in them (us) and their intelligence and their abilities to excel. We had six students make the Ivy Tech Dean’s list in Gary last semester, too. How about that?
Clearly, our efforts are contagious, too. The increase in numbers catching the college fever is great. I’m not talking Covid, baby! This is real COLLEGE!!
And, in addition to these numbers, GEO’s Gary school just received a prestigious endorsement from the University of Indianapolis’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) for our early college program. We are the 4th charter school in the state to earn this endorsement and one of only 42 schools in the entire state to earn it. CELL is the only organization in the state empowered by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to “endorse” early college high schools in the state.
We do early college for many reasons. First, it works for our students. Students need and enjoy the real college experience (this includes career certification programs, too). They benefit from more than learning the information in their classes, too, as they also learn life skills–time management, self discipline, how to work with others. This builds their confidence in completing college and/or career certifications. It also gives them reason to graduate from high school in the first place.
To that end, our Gary school has the best on-time graduation rate in Gary. The school posted a 90% graduation rate for 2021 compared to the local school district’s 60%. Our graduation rate is 3rd best among all charters in Indiana serving a similar population, too.
Our early college program is empowering students, getting them to graduate on time, and to do so with a serious number of college credits and degrees in their pocket. That saves them time and money and saves taxpayers dollars, too. It builds a better, more productive community for us all, too.
I’m stoked for 2022. Can’t wait to see all the growth this year.
Thanks for your continued friendship and support.
Sincerely, Kevin Teasley Founder & President GEO Foundation