AISD working on a Crossroads program to stop students from dropping out

KFDA Crossroads

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Crossroads is a concept to help keep kids from dropping out of school purposed by AISD.

It is not official just yet, as board members are currently voting whether to continue exploring with this concept.

“Creating a special environment, a special school that will allow them to go nine through twelve," said AISD Superintendent Doug Loomis. "And help them recover credit get back on the right track and be successful and not be dropouts.”

Research over the last few years focused on 210 students who dropped out and found that the reason for dropping out is not necessarily grades or behavioral issues.

“One, they just become attendance problems, they don’t like school, most just don’t come to school and number two they are not involved. They were not involved, involved in fine arts, athletics or in our C-T-E courses that play an important niche in our kid's lives,” said Loomis.

They hope to have a small pilot program with about 50 to 100 kids first, before opening it up to all schools. This program will bring in 8 to 10 new teachers.

“We’ll do focus groups. We will have conversations, and it really will be a one on one kind of interview - looking are you struggling? Let me show you a way we can step out of the traditional environment into a new environment and do some things differently than we’ve done them before. This is to get you back on the right track,” said Loomis.

The Crossroads framework will focus on connections, building relationships within the community, and bring students opportunities. Well, being, their social and emotional health, and academics with self-paced individual and meaningful curricula. The pilot program will start at Tascosa High.

“Tascosa is a good place. It’s a good cross-section of the city, and they currently have several kids who go to North Heights or our past program. We just made an obvious connection to start there, offer that, identify those kids. As we become successful with them, we will grow to the rest of the district,” said Loomis.

Through this program, they hope to develop warning signs to help identify at-risk students earlier.

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