Beyond The Bell: Emerson High School New Hours

Thursday, January 22nd 2015, 8:21 pm

By: News 9

Balancing the books with a family or busy job isn't easy for most of us, but try doing it as a teenager in high school.

Oklahoma City Public Schools now offers a new scheduling solution for students at Emerson High School.

English teacher Cinthea Comer has students from a variety of backgrounds with many balancing tough schedules.

“My biggest challenge is not so much the kids or the curriculum, it's just getting them in the classroom,” Comer said.

“Our students do have a lot of outside issues, but we have really great dedicated students, it's just sometimes they aren't always able to get here.”

Time is a huge issue, so to address the problem the school implemented a brand new schedule this school year with two separate sessions. The first is from 8:20-1:10 p.m. and the second is from 11:35-4:25 p.m.

"With our quad-mesters, our kids are able to get more subjects quicker because a lot of these kids have jobs, they have children of their own, so we can have them get a whole full year in what would be a traditional half a year at a regular school."

So far, so good for 16-year-old Travonte Douglas, who does school in the afternoon and works at Marshall's every night.

"Hard, it's really hard, but I manage to do it," Douglas said.

So hard Douglas got behind on his credit hours, and transferred schools twice before enrolling at Emerson.

"Like at a regular school, it takes you longer to graduate, here they help you get ahead, it's a better school than any other school, I like it."

For mother Karen Vitolas, time isn't a luxury. She balances the books with her two children.

"Coming to school and waking up early, getting both of them ready is a lot," Vitolas said.

She does the morning session and said she's grateful the school has a full-staffed daycare on-site.

"They help you out a lot with your problems, they understand, and it's better for so you can graduate, especially if you're a mom so you can have more time," Vitolas.

Vitolas said she is on track to graduate thanks to Emerson's new accelerated curriculum.

Since Emerson's hours change, the student population has doubled to about 600 students.

There is a process to attend Emerson that is mainly based on referral, here's where you can learn more.


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