SAN ANTONIO, TX (May 6, 2021) –  Learn4Life, a network of nonprofit high schools for at-risk students, recently received approval to open a school in San Antonio’s Edgewood Independent School District (EISD). Beginning in August 2021, Learn4Life will open to serve existing EISD students who are credit deficient or at risk of dropping out. Enrollment will be open for all students in the community who would benefit from personalized, one-on-one instruction to be successful in high school.

Texas has approximately 3.6 million students, or 67 percent of its student population, who are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch, a measure of poverty within a school district. Within the EISD, 91 percent of students get free or reduced-price lunch, which is significantly higher than the statewide average.

Dr. Eduardo Hernandez, Superintendent of Edgewood ISD, explained that, “Our main district outcome is to graduate all students to be college, career and military ready at their expected date of graduation. We want to ensure as many opportunities as possible are available to our students, so they can accomplish the goal of graduating high school and building a better future for themselves. This partnership allows us to connect with students who may feel graduation is not a possibility, but we are here to tell them it is!”

Click to tweet: Opportunity Youth in San Antonio will have a new option this summer for a flexible and personalized high school education. #Learn4LifeSchools #OpportunityYouth.

For 20 years, Learn4Life has committed to breaking the dropout cycle by creating classrooms of one for at-risk students who have struggled in traditional schools and fallen so far behind, they lose the opportunity to graduate with their classmates. Through a personalized learning model, students receive one-on-one support, a flexible schedule, wrap-around services and job skills training – all with trauma-informed practices.

“This partnership is extremely important to ensure we are serving students who have become disenfranchised or feel left behind. We intend to reach out to these students and get them re-enrolled so they can complete their high school education which will, in turn, open up significantly more opportunities for them,” stated Chad J. Humphrey, Chairman of the Board, Learn4Life-Edgewood.

Learn4Life’s network of schools annually serve more than 47,000 at-risk students in Texas, California, Michigan and Ohio. These students have endured traumas such as foster care, homelessness, hunger, abuse, bullying, illness, political/religious refuge and even human trafficking. Seventy-four percent are from low-income households, many are pregnant or parenting, and most enroll after dropping out, more than a year behind in credits. Its trauma-informed approach helps teens develop resilience to support a positive transition to adulthood after they earn their diplomas.

Learn4Life is successful with 90 percent of its students – reengaging them in their education, helping them graduate, and preparing them for a life beyond high school with job training and placement. Nearly half enroll in post-secondary education after graduating from Learn4Life.

Understanding even small interruptions to a student’s momentum can derail their educational progress, Learn4Life kept students engaged during the pandemic – first by providing more than 20,000 laptops and hotspots, and then ensuring one-on-one meetings with teachers and tutors continued online. Each Learn4Life teacher is responsible for about 35 students – unlike most high school teachers who have as many as 180 students.

Putting students back into schools means putting money back into the state. Instead of creating a lifelong drain on public resources, the thousands of dropouts saved go on to become productive, contributing members of society. Every dropout who earns their diploma is six times more likely to vote[1]; 67 percent less likely to be unemployed[2] and six times less likely to be incarcerated[3]. Watch this video to learn more about Learn4Life’s model to change students’ stories.

The school is located at 1922 S. General McMullen Drive, San Antonio, TX, 78226. Enrollment is now open at Learn4Life.org/edgewood.

[1] CIRCLE. Young Voters in the 2012 Presidential Election: The Educational Gap Remains, 2012.

[2] Cassidy, Mike. No One is 5.8 Percent Unemployed. U.S. News & World Report, December 10, 2014.

[3] Keeping Kids in School — Dropout Prevention & School Discipline. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California. February 2015.

Written By:
Ann Abajian
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