LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A new charter school near the campus of University of Southern California opened on Tuesday in pursuit of a lofty academic goal: a 100 percent graduation rate.
KNX 1070's Ed Mertz reports USC Hybrid High School will be open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week offering courses both in learning labs and online.
Principal Stephanie McClay was on hand to open the school's doors inside the World Trade Center building at 350 South Figueroa Avenue in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
McClay said the highly anticipated LAUSD charter school has actively recruited ninth-grade students from the community to "make sure a hundred percent of these students graduate college ready and career-prepared".
"In this community, about 50 percent of the kids don't make it out of high school in four years," she added.
McClay attributed the local high school dropout rate not just to scheduling challenges, but to a lack of engagement on the part of the educators.
"There's also students who just disengage, who feel their needs aren't being met academically, socially; the high school experience isn't working for them," said McClay.
About 100 ninth-graders are currently enrolled for classes at the 19,000-square-foot site, which includes four large learning labs, two project rooms, and a series of "huddle rooms" for small student groups, an administrative suite, and a courtyard.
Dwayne, a parent of one of the new students at USC Hybrid High, is grateful for any academic institution that challenges its students.
"Don't lower your standards for the student; bring your standards up and make the student step up to what you're expecting of 'em," he said. "Don't just allow them to come to school and just hang out."
School officials hope to enroll 150 ninth graders in its first year, and potentially grow its entire student body to 650 students by 2016.
For school applications and other information, visit the USC Hybrid High website.
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