As for PCRHS, it is a part of a model that includes 25 schools nationally where students go to school four days a week and then work the fifth day at an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job in an entry level, professional environment.
“The companies aren’t creating a desk in a corner,” Fagan said. “It’s a job that has a description and they get evaluated. Some are in the research labs (at Eli Lilly), working with the scientists. They’re going to get all the advantages that a professional setting provides, interacting with professionals and gaining skills that employers value like team building, behaviors, and how to collaborate with others.”
PCRHS has made an impact on westside students, as Fagan explains that the school accepts students who are intent on going to college, not just graduating from high school.
“It’s a neat model,” she said. “It takes a certain student. They have to be willing to do the hard work. They’re cramming five days of school into four and then going to work. It’s challenging. The outcomes are great though. We’ve had three graduating classes and every single one has been accepted to college with a 98 percent retention rate there.”
Fagan said that national network-wide, 70 percent of the students go back to work for their corporate work study employers, meaning that the jobs they’re working in high school lead to something stable down the road.
She also said that parents should want to come to the information night to learn about the litany of scholarship money that is left untouched, mostly because people don’t know about it. That’s where the 21st Century Scholarship program will come into play.
“People don’t realize there is all this money from the state to go to college,” Fagen said. “If these kids would enroll in the (Indiana 21st Century Scholarship program) and stick with it, they could go to college for free. Why leave money on the table? Only about half of the students who are eligible actually apply for it and there are a lot of kids missing out.”
PCRHS is at 75 N. Belleview Place, Indianapolis. For more information on the school, call 860-1000 or visit the website at www.pcrhs.org.
A list of schools that accept vouchers across the state can be found online at www.doe.in.gov.
Just the facts
WHAT: School Choice Parent Information Night
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30
WHERE: Providence Cristo Rey High School