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Youngstown school getting results with nontraditional program

Many students at the school have unstable housing, absent parents, or may be parents themselves

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) - While many schools across Youngstown are struggling to meet state standards, dropout recovery schools are seeing victories.

One of those success stories is the Academy for Urban Scholars. The school is meeting or exceeding every benchmark the state sets for dropout recovery schools.

There are many reasons students might decide to go to a dropout recovery school, and it is no longer just because they failed out of public school.

"We were educating students society considered at risk. We considered them at promise," said Director Sabrina Jones. "Our focus is to make sure the students are becoming productive students and citizens."

Getting students to that level means the adults in their life have to go beyond what's expected in a traditional high school.

Jones said the teachers tailor education to each student. Students begin their education plan at whatever level they come in at and go from there, striving to reach state benchmarks.

Every day, Dean of Students Wasilwa Mwonyonyi says he makes sure to talk to each student personally. He wants to know what is going on after school, if the student has talked with their engagement coach or if there is anything he can do to make their day go a little easier.

Many students at the school have unstable housing, absent parents, or may be parents themselves. While school can take a back seat to other life issues, the staff at this nontraditional high school has one goal in mind.

"We try to give them as much resources as possible because there are children still, but some of them have adult responsibilities," Mwonyonyi said.

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