SPOKANE IS FOLLOWING THAT NATIONAL TREND.
FOR THE 2010-2011 SCHOOL YEAR.
SPOKANE SCHOOLS SAW 72 PERCENT OF STUDENTS GRADUATING.
THIS LAST SCHOOL YEAR.
THAT RATE WAS 84 AND A HALF PERCENT.
A MORE THAN 10 PERCENT INCREASE.
KXLY4'S DREW REEVES IS WORKING 4 YOU.
WITH HOW THE DISTRICT IS MAKING THIS HAPPEN.
TEACHERS AT FERRIS SAY OUR DISTRICT'S RISING GRADUATION
RATES ARE THANKS TO A COMMITMENT TO FOCUS ON INDIVIDUAL
THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AT FERRIS HIGH SCHOOL SAYS
THE DISTRICT HAS MADE IT A PRIORITY TO FIGURE OUT
HOW TO REACH EACH INDIVIDUAL STUDENT.
AND SHE SAYS THAT ALL STARTS WITH A CONVERSATION.
NATS - What do you need, what are you working on?
IN THIS CLASSROOM AT FERRIS HIGH SCHOOL.
YOU WON'T FIND STUDENTS SEPARATED BY GRADE OR TEST
SCORES OR THEIR ABILITIES.
THEY'RE PART OF A NEW PROGRAM KNOWN AS PROJECT BASED
LEARNING OR P-B-L.
:11 - :13
I don't know if I have words for it.
P-B-L IS ONE OF SEVERAL PROGRAMS THAT ALLOWS STUDENTS
TO TAKE MORE CONTROL OF THEIR EDUCATION...
IN THIS CLASS.
STUDENTS ARE GIVEN COMPLEX QUESTIONS.
AND ANSWER, BASED ON THEIR INDIVIDUAL SKILLSET.
:32 - :41
This program has really like been showing me what
I'm good at, like my strengths and stuff, and bringing
out things in me that, you know, I should look into
WHEN MADISON FERGUSON STARTED HIGH SCHOOL AT FERRIS.
SHE SAYS THE ONLY THING SHE WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO
WAS DROPPING OUT.
:36 - :45
Last year I felt really alone, like I was just walking
through my halls trying to get to my next class, or
just trying to go somewhere and get out the doors
without being caught.
IT'S A FEELING ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL SAMANTHA ANDERSON
ANDERSON DROPPED OUT OF FERRIS HIGH SCHOOL HER JUNIOR
SHE NOW USES HER EXPERIENCE TO GET STUDENTS EXCITED
:08 - :24
SAMANTHA ANDERSON/ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
What would have engaged me? It wasn't sitting in a
room doing a packet all day, which has been past practice
in certain history.
It was engaging my mind in dreaming something that
is larger than where I'm currently at.
SHE USES HER EXPERIENCES TO CREATE A COMMUNITY OF
ACCEPTANCE IN THE P-B-L PROGRAM.
:51 - :59
They're there when we need to fall back.
They're there to guide us and push us to the next
level that we didn't ever think that we could be on.
NOW, MADISON SAYS SHE'S READY TO SEE WHAT HER FUTURE
FEELING MORE EMPOWERED THAN EVER.
:31 - :44
I'm definitely a lot happier this year than I was
last year, with knowing where I'm going in life, than
sitting down and thinking to myself 'who am I going
to be?' What am I going to do? Am I going to be anybody?'
But, I know that I'm going to be somebody
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SAY THEIR FOCUS IS TO CREATE
CLASSROOMS WHERE STUDENTS FEEL SAFE TO BE THEMSELVES
AND EXPRESS THEIR FEELINGS.
AND STUDENTS TODAY TOLD ME THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT PROJECT
BASED LEARNING PROVIDES.
THIS IS GREAT FOR KIDS WHO WANT TO DO BETTER, WHAT
ABOUT THE KIDS WHO SIMPLY AREN'T SHOWING UP?
ADMINISTRATORS SAY THEY DON'T WANT TO PUNISH STUDENTS
WHO JUST DON'T SHOW UP.
THEY USE A TEAM OF COMMUNITY LEADERS, INCLUDING COUNSELORS
AND PSYCHOLOGISTS TO FIGURE OUT WHY THAT STUDENT ISN'T
AND WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO
GET THEM ENGAGED IN THE CLASSROOM...
THEN THEY TRY TO MATCH THAT STUDENT TO A PROGRAM THAT
WILL WORK FOR THEM.
AND GO FROM THERE.