How Richmond helps students earn degrees after dropping out

Posted at 10:24 AM, Oct 22, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond Public School District is trying to increase graduation rates. A new program is helping by focusing on students who’ve dropped out but want to earn their high school diploma or GED.

Rebecca Fox runs the year-old program.

"Our secondary success program is a dropout recovery program, and we have students who have dropped out of RPS who have come back to get their diploma," Fox said.

To do that, you must have good teachers like Ingrid Thomas.

In 2002, Thomas asked herself why she was working a banking job.

"Is this it?” joked Thomas. “I just didn't feel fulfilled. But after five years in education, I was like, this is where I should have been."

Ingrid was just who Rebecca needed.

“We started in February and then COVID-19 hit,” Fox said. “We had three students that we could get in touch with once we started back in March. I took it over in April and we have 42 students now."

"They want to be able to get their high school diploma or get a GED," Thomas said, “but also to take care of their families. It is different because you have different conversations with them. You tend to have more adult conversations with them."

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