Some of the students are homeless – drifting from one friend’s or relative’s home to another. Others are teenage mothers. Some may be struggling with emotional, physical and mental issues or catastrophic life changes, such as a divorce, a move from one town and school to another or the death of a loved one.
Whatever the issues, students with high rates of absenteeism and those not sure whether or not they can graduate from high school, are now enrolling in Hub programs, completing courses and are on the path to high school graduation.
With a goal to “try to make every student successful,” and increase graduation rates, the Hub program at El Dorado High School is designed to increase the graduation rate, help students who may have gotten behind in their coursework or those with home and health issues.
Alva Reibe, principal at El Dorado High School, reported to the El Dorado School Board on Monday night that 29 students at EHS are now enrolled in the Hub program. Through the program, flexible schedules are focused on individual students to help them achieve graduation.
“Students who are behind in their classes can catch up to graduate,” Reibe said, explaining the Hub is a non-traditional program that allows for customized student schedules. In order to enroll and continue in the program, students “have to show commitment.”
This school year, most students in the program attend classes a half-day for two days a week and many have part-time jobs. Reibe said the HUB curriculum is approved by the Arkansas Department of Education and the “Jobs for Arkansas Graduates,” program is included with HUB plans. Over 35 school districts in the state have Hub programs for their students.
“Seniors realize this is an opportunity to catch up with their class,” Reibe told board members. “Without this program, most of these 29 students would not be in school.” Currently there are 16 boys and 13 girls in the program – 19 seniors, nine juniors and one sophomore. “Two of those students have health reasons for not coming to school and several of the girls have children.” Others enrolled in the program “have potential, but have had discipline problems,” the principal said.
“Four students, who have not been coming to school, will graduate in December” thanks to the Hub program. “Lots of students are wanting to be in Hub and the end result – I think it will be great. Students who have never liked school before are excited about Hub,” Reibe said.
Hub schools are alternative education programs created to meet the needs of students who have had challenges succeeding at traditional high schools. The program is designed for students ages 13 - 19 years who have dropped out of the regular school system or who have very high levels of non-attendance, even though they have not officially withdrawn.
Together with the teachers, students design their own unique program based on their personal needs and availability. The majority of classes offered at the Hub are self-paced, meaning a student can complete courses at their own rate. Class sizes are kept small, so students can receive the attention and support they need.
Also during Monday night’s meeting, Andria Gleghorn, Barton Junior High teacher, was honored as teacher of the month. She has a bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University and is certified in elementary one through six and middle school social studies. She has 21 hours toward her master’s degree in administration and supervision and plans to graduate with that certification in May 2018.
In addition to her teaching duties, “Miss G” as most students call her, drives a school bus, is cheer coach (which includes going to camp, competitions, games and pep rallies) and “plans, prepares and performs” the student musical at Barton each year. She also works with Barton’s Student Council and teaches pre-AP social studies to seventh graders. Co-workers said Gleghorn has “school-wide student respect” and is always willing to help other teachers.
“I can always count on Miss G to go above and beyond for her students. I love that she encourages teachers to participate in pep rallies. She rarely misses school and has taken students to Washington, D.C., Boston and New York City. I often think she is the Energizer Bunny in disguise,” her principal, Sherry Hill, said.
Brooke McCoy, daughter of Cliff and Donna McCoy, an eighth-grader at Barton, was honored as student of the month. She is a straight “A” student, president of the National Junior Honor Society, president of the Future Business Leaders of America, vice president of the Student Council, a cheerleader and competition team member.
She is an active member and president of her 4-H Club and this year, she won several titles at the Union County Fair showing livestock. She is a member of Camp Fire USA, is an active member of Knowles Baptist Church and Wyatt Baptist Church Youth Group.
Teachers said McCoy is “a model student,” works hard in class, is kind and encouraging to everyone and has a “willingness to persevere,” never complains and is a “sweet, polite, happy child and helpful to others.”
Karen Lutman and Barbara Holly were honored as classified employees of the month. Lutman began working for the district as Yocum Elementary secretary in December 1996 and moved to the administration office in 2015 as purchasing clerk. She also works with Eschool data entry.
Shelley Pruitt, treasurer for the district, said Lutman is “willing to try to help anyone with any issue they may have. She has a genuine servant’s heart.” Fellow employees said Lutman is “never too busy to help” others and is a “master at identifying and collecting Eschool data. She is a “positive work partner” drives a school bus, enroll students and “solves Eschool mysteries.”
Holly has worked in the ESD for three years in the Food Services Department. She is a team player and does whatever is asked of her. She works to maintain a clean and safe environment in the cafeteria and kitchen. She is known for her “fun, charismatic personality. She make sure the EHS staff is ready for all dress-up days and holidays.”