Class Academy Helps At-Risk Students Graduate High School

John Elfers, a science teacher at Class Academy in Monmouth County,explains how his school is helping at-risk students get back on track to graduate high school.

9/2/17 #3027







"We are pleased to welcome Mr. John Elfers, who is a science teacher at CLASS Academy in Monmouth County. Good to see you. Yeah. You too. Nice meeting you. This is part of our Classroom Close-up collaboration with the New Jersey Education Association. By the way, CLASS Academy is? Is in Monmouth County. And it is a part of Monmouth County Vocational. And we are a school for at-risk youth, and mostly juniors and seniors who are behind on credits. That's the idea. I'll tell you what. Beyond your description John, we are gonna take a look at this terrific clip... Alright. ...from Classroom Close-up that tells a story of the CLASS Academy. Good morning, CLASS Academy. We're gonna do three more pans, right? CLASS Academy is a high school for students to help recover their high school credits. Can we get them either a, to be a full time student? Or can we, b, to get them to be shared time in a vocation program, come to us the other half of the day? Or c, can we get them in a school to work program, where they do come here and go to work half of the day? And what are the elements in this story guys? These kids, they really do want to learn. Yet somehow, they've slipped through the cracks, and it really is up to the teachers to rise up again and just really stay on them, and bring it out of them. Just pull it out of them. Because everybody has the learning inside of them. And they just need the proper environment. Alright, so we've got five little minnows in there. And actually that's a good sign. It's a sign that there is, like, living things and life in the water. [music playing] I think my approach here is definitely a lot different. It's definitely a different type of teaching. I think on any given day, you have to be able to adapt to what the circumstances are given. Hey, what's up Chris? How have you been? Good. You doing alright? I wasn't gonna graduate on time, and I wasn't doing my schoolwork like I was supposed to be, but when I came here, at first I didn't really like it. But then I got comfortable and everyone showed me a lot of love and support, and from there I just grew into the man that I am today because of CLASS Academy. So basically you know, I am who I am because of this school. And I'm thankful. When I first got here I kind of felt weird about it, because everybody called this you know, an alternative school, and that felt like, "Oh, so I'm not in a real..."