Bellevue high school for under-achieving students faces closure

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by TIM ROBINSON / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on June 1, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 1 at 11:12 AM

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- A Bellevue high school will likely be closed because of low test scores. The unique situation is that the school was designed to take in under-achieving students.

Classes at Robinswood are smaller than most high schools. There’s more one-on-one attention and the classes are longer -- four classes a day, 90 minutes long each. And the students are there not because of where they live, but because they were identified as needing extra attention, or some students just wanted to come here. 

 “I call this school my home school because it pretty much is," said student Sarah Brown, junior.

 “There are more who are here on academic agreements and that means once you pull your grades up, if you want, you go back to your home school,” said Estelle Collins, principal. “But what we find to be so interesting is many of them chose to stay with us and to graduate from here three, four years later."

The catch 22 for Robinswood is that achieving students graduate or go back to their regular schools and they're replaced by students with low grades. On the whole, the schools adequate yearly progress (ADP) didn't meet the “no child left behind” standards.

“I don't want to say I'm not a proponent. I know what they're trying to do. I just think there needs to be some real special clauses put in for schools like ours," said Collins. 

The students at Robinswood will be allowed to go to any Bellevue school of their choice. No teachers and staff members will be laid off and will instead be reassigned to other schools.

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