Hannah Robb

Funding helps John R. Rogers High School make educational improvements

Hannah Robb, Public Relations Intern, No Phone Number Available

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 9:42 a.m.

Funding helps John R. Rogers High School make educational improvements

Rogers High School is the topic of today's occasional series about The Yard, an up-and-coming area in northeast Spokane.

In 2011, John R. Rogers High School ranked among the bottom 5 percent of state high schools with graduation rates around 50 percent. Then a good thing happened in the form of a $3.7 million federal education grant. With the new grant, Rogers instituted “ROW time” – Responsibility, Ownership, Willingness. ROW time allowed Rogers to extend its school day by a half hour to include a mandatory third-period study hall for students to retake exams, do homework, and receive tutoring.

Since the federal grant, the graduation rate at Rogers has increased to 86 percent, and math and science scores on standardized tests have greatly increased. The grant runs through the 2014-15 school year. Rogers is applying for a one-year, $270,000 extension from the state. Sustainability of the extended school day and an after-school literacy training program was built into the school's strategy when it received the grant. A grant extension would help retain some of the administrator support to the program.

“We learned a lot in the whole process,” said Marty Robinette, assistant principal. “The grant really allowed us to do research and bring people together.”

Last year, Rogers also qualified for Title 1 designation for the first time, brining additional resources to the school. Title 1 is the nation's oldest federally funded program, which provides grant dollars to schools whose students live at or near poverty or are at risk of failure. Rogers has the highest rate among Spokane high schools of low income, special needs and non-native English speaking students.

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