New Program Helps High School Seniors Graduate

February 22, 2013 Updated Feb 22, 2013 at 12:44 AM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

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February 22, 2013 Updated Feb 22, 2013 at 12:44 AM EDT

Buffalo, NY
(WKBW)

Parents listened as the "golden number" was announced during the superintendent's community roundtable meeting at the Love Joy Discovery School Thursday night.

Twenty-two. That's the number of credits you need to graduate from high school.

But some struggling students end up falling short by the time their senior year rolls around.

Close to donning a cap and gown, but missing a few crucial credits. Enter Community Superintendent Dr. David Mauricio, leading a new program in the district called Pathways to Academic Success, Graduation and College.

"We began a great opportunity for our seniors who needed one to three credits in order to graduate with their graduating class this June," said Dr. Mauricio, Community Superintendent at Buffalo Public Schools.

Here's how the program works, students are still enrolled in their regular daily classes but three days out of the week they report to McKinley High School in the evening, taking courses they need in subjects including Algebra, Sociology, Government and English.

It works like night school. The district has identified 92 students for the program, 83 are high school seniors.

Administrators acknowledge it is a tough program to stick with so they are trying to meet students half way.

Since it started on Tuesday administrators are saying so far so good.

"We are at about 60 percent of the students coming so we have free bus passes for the students we provide dinner for them a hot meal in between the two classes and we have small class sizes for them so we really have set up a great opportunity for them," said Dr. Mauricio.

Superintendent Pamela Brown re-stating her goal of bringing the graduation rate to 80 percent within the next five year. Right now the district is only at 47 percent.