Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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May 18, 2011

The Crossing will start a new school

NAPPANEE — An alternative school for at-risk youth will be starting in Nappanee.

Cory Martin from The Crossing Education Center informed the council of plans to have a school in Nappanee in the coming months.

The Crossing, started in 2004 by former Concord principal Rob Stahly, now has nine campuses across the state, mainly in northern Indiana. The schools are mainly grades nine through 12, but there is one middle school. The Crossing is a drop-out preventative and recapture school. Martin described it as the third level of intervention in most communities after regular school and current alternative school.

“Even Wa-Nee has a significant number of drop-outs not being caught by the current alternative school,” Martin said.

Martin said students especially in junior and senior classes are typically in class for three to three and a half hours in the morning and in business internship in the afternoon. Matthew Miller at Newmar Corp. is a business partner and he suggested that Crossing officials speak to the mayor about bringing a school to Nappanee instead of just classes.

Martin said he is working with Wa-Nee officials to recruit dropouts from the last three years. The students will be enrolled back into NorthWood High School and then be transferred to The Crossing.

For a lot of Crossing students family problems are normal, Martin said.

“We become their family. Our teachers and staff are really engaged in our student’s life,” he said.

For example, students start each day with “family time,” where students spend time dealing with life issues. “Because we can’t do the educating without caring,” he said.

There will be a local board of about 10 to 15 members and school officials are still recruiting board members. The location of The Crossing will be determined at the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Monday. July 25 will be the first day of school. The Crossing operates on a year-round calendar.

“We’re anxious to get started,” Martin said.

In other business, council members:

• Heard from members of the Quilt Garden Committee and Denise Hernandez of the Convention Visitors Bureau that the city’s quilt garden would be planted Tuesday.

• Mayor Larry Thompson informed the council that Garden Courts Apartments for seniors and those with disabilities is looking for building sites in Nappanee.

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