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South Starts Panther-up Program for Struggling Students

Paige Litkenhous, Staff Writer

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According to the Indiana Department of Education, Bloomington High School South has a 93 percent graduation rate. The previous year saw a 99 percent graduation rate. South is combating this issue with its own adaptation of the Bloomington Graduation School (BGS).

The program, Panther-up, was introduced in August of 2018 as a pilot program for high school students at high risk of not graduating on time or dropping out of high school Rather than having a larger class, it is allowable to have a group setting of about 15 students in a class at a time. Panther-up allows students to have a half day in school, and leaves the second half of the day to be spent either at a part time job or an internship. The selection process for the program, involves consultation with parents and the student’s counselor and assistant principal.

Guidance counselor Abby Wolfe said, “the program is offered as an alternate option for struggling students.” The actual classes are different than classic courses in that “courses are offered on Plato, although the courses are not just like the Plato course,” Wolfe said. Although many courses are taught on Plato, it is different in the aspect that the courses last for three periods, and allow time for students to begin a job or internship.

Even though the program is fairly new, students and faculty alike, believe that the program is successful.

“Even though many of the improvements can’t be seen by numbers, there has been a major improvement that we can see among the students,” social worker Susan DeVries said.

Panther-up is open to all students, barring freshmen.

“There is so much growth for students, we try to wait to see if they improve,” Wolfe said.

 

 

For more information on technology in schools and technology’s impacts on students, read Optimist’s print issue “Your Brain on Technology.”

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South Starts Panther-up Program for Struggling Students