Students get back on track at Valdosta school -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Students get back on track at Valdosta school

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –A student who dropped out of high school but is willing work hard and get a diploma can do it at a learning center in Valdosta.

And those with academic or behavioral problems are able to get the one-on-one support and work at their own pace to get back on track.

This is Pinevale Learning Center's first school year being certified. Students can stay as long as they choose to to get back on track.

"If you have the opportunity to transition back to your regular school would you," asked Pinevale Principal Ronnie Dunn.  "A lot of students say why should I, if I'm actually moving forward and actually gaining success why go back?"

Next school year, they'll have to meet Adequate Yearly Progress and Georgia Performance Standards. In the past, all the student information was handled by Valdosta High School.

"We're responsible for maintaining grades for all the students," said Dunn. "We're responsible for putting those grades into the system. We're responsible for producing transcripts. We're responsible for producing report cards."

Dunn says at-risk students from out of state and from around the school system attend. He says many of the students here have either dropped out of their regular schools or may have not earned enough credits.

The learning center has a Kindergarten through 5th grade component and a grades 6-12 alternative school. Three quarters of the students here are high school level.

Dunn says teaching at-risk children requires patience.

"Over here, it takes a lot and you have to actually push the student," said Dunn. "You have to show that you care and it's one of those things, it is a combined effort, a team effort, and it would not work if it wasn't for a team effort."

At the high level students are taught mostly on computers.

Jamal Blankumsee will graduate from the learning center next year.

"I want to go to college and at least go to school for engineering," said Blakumsee. 

Part of the funding for the school comes from Title 1. The Pinevale learning Center started with 60 students in 2007 and currently there's 279 students enrolled.

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