For most Spokane kids, summer vacation isn't officially over until next Tuesday, but Rogers High School got a jump start by holdings its first day of classes Wednesday.
Three years ago just about half of Rogers High School students graduated on time and the school received a federal grant to change that. It allowed them to extend school hours and have an earlier start time. The difference it's made has been nothing short of amazing for the school and nothing short of life-changing for the young people here.
It's the first day of school and Principal Lori Wyborney greets overconfident seniors and anxious freshman as they return to fill the halls of Rogers High School. She's a fairly inspiring woman to be around.
"I don't care what kind of teenager you're talking about, what kind of background they have, they can all be anything, do anything, but some of them need different support than other students," she said.
It's that approach, and a grant of more than $3 million that, in three years, has taken Rogers High from that near 50-percent on-time graduation rate to the mid 80-percent range.
"That's really what it's been about, knowing each and every student, knowing their story, knowing their needs and supporting that so they can graduate on time and graduate college and career ready," Wyborney said.
The school has been able to hire mentors, an extra counselor, and use data to identify students that need more resources and, of course, an early start and extra time each day at school
"It's really not that hard, it just gives you time to find out your classes and teachers and stuff so I mean I'm fine with it," student Storm Fissette said.
Students, like Fissette and Jacob Meusy, said the extra time at school is no big deal but they sure hear about it from their peers at North Central High School.
"Most of the time [it's] just like Ha! Ha! You guys have to start school week earlier and we have extra time to sleep in and you guys have to go to school," Meusy said.
Wyborney knows its asking a lot but knows her students are up for it.
"They're amazing kids so we're really lucky here," she said.