Failing students get another chance

Jordan Wong
October 21, 2010

Students who are short on graduation credits may be eligible to take an online class to make them up. The Portable Assisted Study Sequence, also known as the P.A.S.S. Program, will provide an opportunity for students to learn independently. With the students using a desktop client called Cyber High, the majority of the work and studying for the student is on his or her home computer.
The P.A.S.S. Program consists of online classes that offer a wide range of college prep subjects, such as World History and Algebra. Since last February, 30 students have participated in the P.A.S.S. Program and most were successful.
Throughout the school year, counselors will monitor student progress. Counselors can enroll the student into the program only if the student is in need of a class that is mandatory for graduation.
“The  program  is not based on student interests, but based on student needs,” Assistant Principal Lance Miller said. “Much like summer school [in which] the counselors call in the student to sign up.”
Seniors and juniors may use the P.A.S.S. Program only if they lack graduation credits. However, not all classes can be taken online because students will not be able to interact with the material of some classes, such as Fine Arts, Languages, and Lab Sciences.
Teachers will still be able to help students in the program because the students can ask for assistance and clarification on problems in a subject area. In addition, teachers will proctor students when they tests.
 “Teachers act like a bridge to the counselors,” Miller said, “When a student finishes up a test and a class, [teachers] talk to the counselors to see what is the next thing the student needs.”
The P.A.S.S. Program is not an alternative replacement for Adult and Summer School as teachers are not able to provide the additional guidance students need as they get in classrooms. Teachers who want to be part of this program have been interviewed this past week.
“A teacher in front of a student is much better than a computer in front of a student,” Miller said.

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