There is always a new, yet familiar, energized atmosphere during the first few weeks of school. On the other hand, there are also students who experience a great deal of anxiety when this time of year rolls around. That’s what was happening in our case.
A student moved into our district at the end of the summer and we were going through the normal process of enrollment—requesting records from her previous school, building a schedule, and counting credits towards graduation. Not finding much success with attendance through the previous brick & mortar (or another cyber school), this student was hesitant and even resistant to step foot into our building.
Phone conversations with her mother were muffled by the girl yelling, “I’m not going into that school! You can NOT make me go to school!” off in the background. Knowing the challenge we faced to educate this student, we offered an alternative option: CAOLA.
Things fell into place from there. For the first time in her high school career, she began to feel successful and smart. Her connection to the school grew over time and her attendance and effort improved. She began building relationships with her CAOLA advisors, her online teachers, and made friends with the other CAOLA students throughout her district. She began believing in herself.
In the two years it took for her to earn her diploma, she morphed from a resistant student to an eager one. Neither a challenging course, nor a grueling senior project could have kept her from achieving her goal. She became excited to walk across the stage and graduate. It was rewarding for me to see her growth and perseverance over the years. I can honestly say her success was wrapped up in a nice package known as CAOLA and without it, I don’t think she would have ever been able to call herself a high school graduate.
With everything from her self-paced coursework to her connection with our brick and mortar through weekly meetings, and MANY phone calls to her advisor, SHE was the one invested in her own education and success. For some students, that’s all it takes: a flip of the pendulum, control and responsibility over their own education, a comfortable choice, a nurturing relationship. Whatever it was, she came to respect education because she saw it doing good in her life. Thanks to CAOLA for that.
Halifax Area High School