At-Risk Students Need More Help

Educators know which students are most likely to get bad grades and fail to graduate from high school, often because they drop out. The youths are labeled “at-risk” students for reasons ranging from personal problems to poverty.

Just a little more time with an at-risk student can make a world of difference, educators know. Wheeling Park High School has received a grant for a program aimed at providing that additional attention.

The state grant is modest, to be sure, at just $30,120. But it will fund several initiatives, including two-hour “Saturday school” sessions at which at-risk students will receive individualized attention. One goal is to help youngsters who have fallen behind in school catch up with their classmates.

It is an excellent idea but, like so many promising education reform plans, it is an experiment. Once the state grant runs out, Ohio County schools will be on their own to continue the program – if it works.

Frankly, we think it will. If so, it should be continued, perhaps even expanded, at local expense. It appears to be a relatively low-cost approach to at-risk students – and money well spent if it can help put diplomas in their hands.