By Camaron Abundes
MIDLAND- It's a race. Four hundred students from the Midland Independent School District are trying to catch up or get ahead on credits during summer school at Lee High School. More than a hundred more students need help passing all or a portion of the TAKS tested needed to graduate.
"We really encourage those students to come back and take advantage of this opportunity to work with the teachers to really target the areas so they can be successful." Summer School Principal Pam Kwiatkowski said they're offering flexible schedules and tutorials tailor made for each student based on their performance on the TAKS.
"[We're] Looking at their objectives, at areas they were deficient in so they can focus on the areas they need to get them to pass." Kwiatkowski said students including more than fifty seniors who were not allowed to walk at graduation back in May are welcome.
The program even leaves room for older students who haven't earned a diploma.
The A plus credit recovery program is another helpful tool allowing students in ninth through twelfth grades to make up credits at their own pace. Older students up to 22-years-old are also encouraged to take part during the school year. The district is running seven different labs through July 22nd and all are full. The program is so popular there is a waiting list, but officials say they're slowly calling students in as others finish up.
"It will help you pass and it gives you more encouragement than you think it would. Just do your best that's all you can do." Karri Chambers who is now a Junior thanks to the program, said.
Collegiate coaches give students added help through encouragment.
"I would talk to my teacher Mrs. Flores and tell her I couldn't do it," Isabel Losoya said. "And she told me I would just have to work extra hard and get my grades up and that's what I did.
And when I started to fall off she would help me up. She would call my parents and ask if everything is okay."
In turn, officials think the program is lowering the drop out rate.
"I don't know what we would do with out it," Patricia Flores, a collegiate coach for Midland Freshman said. "It's all about the relationships with students."