By Nancy Price
Not all students thrive in a large classroom setting. They benefit from learning in an environment with fewer distractions and a smaller student-teacher ratio.
Perry Township Schools’ Compass Education Center has recently opened to help those students who have social anxiety and/or to earn credits over a shorter period of time or catch up on credit hours so they can earn their high school diploma.
“We started the Compass Education Center to help students that are credit unhealthy,” said Tim Lovejoy, director of CEC. “We help them recover credits that they have missed for whatever reason.”
“Our kids are the kids that have not been successful at the high school,” added Martin Johnson, assistant director. “The CEC is a program that gives these kids much-needed individual attention. Our smaller numbers and emphasis on relationship building allows our kids a different way to achieve success. The small building and the teacher/student ratio make it impossible for our kids to get lost in the shuffle.”
CEC, located at 1319 Stop 10 Road, has seven classrooms, multiple offices and conference rooms. The center is also home to the Perry Township Schools Police Department. The $1.85 million building, funded with district resources, is 14,678 square feet.
The center has five classes per day and aligns with the same hours as other high schools in the district, from 7:15 a.m.-1:40 p.m. Each class is 69 minutes long. Ten staff members teach subjects ranging from 12th grade English to Spanish to 75 students, with a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1.
“All subject matter is covered for the students,” Lovejoy said. “We tailor our curriculum to our student body.”
The program is built on four cornerstones: caring, compassion, courage and conviction.
“When we put them all together, we can help the students understand the value of setting goals and reaching them,” he said.
Students and their parents have already noticed positive changes as a result of the center’s environment.
“We have received very positive feedback from the students and their parents,” Johnson said. “The students have told us that they feel like this is a place where they belong and can be successful. Parent feedback has also been very positive; they see their children receiving positive results. Many were tentative at first but they now understand that this is a great opportunity for their kids.”
For more information about Compass Education Center, call (317) 789-3965 or visit perryschools.org/news/compass-education-center-welcomes-students.