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High schoolers earn while they learn in credit recovery programs

Partnership with YouthWorks ensures students do not have to choose between a job or their studies

During the summer, City Schools high school students can catch up on academic credit. Because of disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, more students than ever took advantage this summer to make sure they graduate on schedule.

About 4,700 students participated in City Schools’ summer credit recovery programs. They accounted for 11,000 registrations for classes offered at six schools throughout the city. It’s a crucial program that helps students reach their ultimate goal of graduation. 

Partnering with the Mayor’s Office YouthWorks program, many students focused on school while earning a paycheck at the same time. About 400-500 students earned $12.50/hour for their in-classroom time. 

What started as a small pilot program in summer 2021 has now expanded to 4 sites.  “[Students] will get a job and hold onto that job; the key of the Youthworks program is to harness that energy and take the economic pressure off them,” said Terah Collins, an ITA at Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle School who supervised YouthWorks students in the summer credit recovery program at The Reach! Partnership School. “We have almost every single course available, so whatever students need to graduate, we’ve got them covered.” 

With only a six-week summer session, credit recovery students are immersed in intensive courses, with each running two hours a day for four days a week. From math and English to social studies and computer science, the courses are a serious commitment, but students are up for the challenge. 

“Our goal now is to grow the program and ensure as many students can participate as possible,” said Ronda Welsh, Coordinator - Extended Learning. “The pandemic was definitely a disruption, but credit recovery has and always will be a crucial element of student success. We have to meet students where they are, to make it easier for them to stay engaged and committed to their studies.”

Students wishing to participate in credit recovery opportunities should contact their school counselor for information.

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