ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Hundreds of students in the Rockford Public School District are getting a second chance to change their behavior and grades. We checked in with the new Innovative Learning Center to see how misunderstood kids are making strides.
17-year-old Kimberlynn Grant used to go to Guilford High School until the principal sent her to the Innovative Learning Center because of behavioral issues.
“I was really tired of getting in trouble so I just wanted to go to a different school to get away from some of the kids and people there,” Kimberlynn said.
The alternative education program allows Grant to be with other students who don’t fit into a traditional school.
“Each student has different learning modalities, every student cannot learn in the same environment,” said Dr. Chaun Johnson, Director of ILC.
This environment includes computer instruction and teacher interaction to help with more than just academics.
“We forget what they’ve done in the past and they start new, so we build relationships with our students.”
Linnae Collins is another one of those students.
“It’s easier to get help when you need it on a certain subject because they have different teachers for different subjects instead of just one teacher in a classroom,” said Collins.
It’s that kind of support that’s helping Collins and grant recover credits quickly. Grant will now graduate a semester early to hopefully become a vet technician, a future plan she says probably wouldn’t have happened with the ILC.
“I don’t think I would’ve been thinking about college and I don’t think I would be on the track to graduate as early as I am,” Grant said.
You may recall the Innovative Learning Center opened in the fall after the District closed Page Park and made other alternative education changes. ILC currently has 228 high school students. They can take up to 250 kids. Students must complete at least six credit hours there, before they can transfer back to their regular school.
The school offers four different 3-hour sessions per day, so students can choose which session works best for them.
Some kids have jobs or other responsibilities so this gives them flexibility.