Students at the Edward J. Sam Accelerated School of Lafayette graduated today.
The non-traditional school offers a chance for students who need an option outside of the traditional school setting. The students could be more than a year behind in school, they might have to work to support their family, or have a child they need to take care of, or they just might not work best at a "regular" school.
The students can work at their own pace, meaning they can finish as quickly as they like. There are also counseling services, leadership and character education, and childcare provided for them. They earn a regular high school diploma; this is not a GED program.
About 20 students graduated from the program today.
"Those kids that can accelerate and work fast, they can get out of here real quick," explained LPSS CAO Joe Craig. "They can get that diploma and move on to post-secondary or to the workforce. Those that need a little more time, more support by the teachers, they have that in this smaller setting."
The school is located at the W. D. and Mary Baker Smith Career Center, but today’s ceremony was held at David Thibodaux STEM on Pinhook. It is named for the late Edward J. Sam, a long-time Lafayette Parish teacher, principal and School Board member.