Two new schools offer at-risk students job training, support

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Two new school campuses in central Indiana are giving students another chance to graduate from high school.

The Crossing School of Business and Entrepreneurship opened the new campuses in Noblesville and Indianapolis for the 2017-2018 school year. This school chain, located throughout the state, focuses on educating at-risk students who have previously dropped out or faced other challenges.

The campus in Noblesville is located inside Gaylor Electric. The classroom is just feet away from the work area, where students spend half of their day. The teens spend part of their day doing academic work and then get hands-on job training.

"It’s really nice because I will probably end up in some field like this," said Sam Gaunt, who is a senior at The Crossing.

Gaunt said traditional high school and online high school did not work for him. The Crossing offers a mix of flexibility, one-on-one attention and work experience.

Staff says the new location inside a local business allows students to make connections for their future.

"That helps us keep students here, it helps transportation, we don’t have to move students back and forth," said Jason Knoop, a teacher. "It lowers risk and helps us be a part of this community."

Each school day, the students learn skills that will help them land a job after high school.

"These companies are now training future employees and having a say in how they are trained," said Jessica Hussey, a job training instructor.

The Crossing campuses consist of many students who struggled at traditional schools. Now, they're finding a way to flourish.

"I’m able to show up, work really hard and I’m able to get a lot done here," Gaunt said.

Another new location for the Crossing is inside an old IPS building in Indianapolis, near Fountain Square. The school is leasing most of the third floor. At the Indianapolis hub, students are able to run "micro businesses." Some students are overseeing a candle making business and review everything from design to budgets.

"It's making me better at math which is good because I’m taking my math class," said Autumn Pruitt, a sophomore involved in the candle making micro business.

"They start to see their own value, they start believing in themselves and start believing this could be my future," Hussey said.

Soon, the Indianapolis location will start offering students childcare. The goal is to remove barriers to high school graduation.

"We want to prepare our students for the rest of their lives, whatever is next," said teacher Jason Knoop.

The Crossing locations in central Indiana are still enrolling students. You can call 317-661-4620 for more information. They accept students ages 14 to 21.

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