What's Working in Yakima to Reduce the Number of High School Dropouts - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

What's Working in Yakima to Reduce the Number of High School Dropouts

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YAKIMA -- Right now there's a huge drop out problem in the Yakima Valley among students who are making the transition from 8th grade to high school. A program at Eisenhower High School targets teens who need a little extra help staying on track.

Last fall Eisenhower High School started a new program called I-POD. It targets incoming freshman struggling with their grades and attendance. Now, it's not just the teachers who are excited about it. Students are the ones giving the program high marks.

Ike principal Stacy Locke says struggling students need less focus on the fine print and more relationship building.

The I-POD program has smaller classes with more hands on teaching.

Last year 122 kids were enrolled in the program with six teachers onboard. Teachers teach three core subjects: English, math and science and the results were overwhelmingly positive.

78 percent of students moved on and became sophomores and 98 of them are still in school. This year Ike even extended the program to six 9th grade classes and four sophomore classes.

Ike's ipod program even earned recognition from the state super intendent. Eisenhower High School hopes to continue to grow this program at their school in the years to come.

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