Students make up for lost time in night school
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 3, 2005

Carrie Watters
Glendale High program helps kids graduate

When $30,000 landed in Deborah Jordan's lap, the Glendale High School principal knew just what to do with it. She started a night school that allowed 32 students to catch up on lost credits and graduate high school last spring.

Six more studied into the summer to earn diplomas.

Another $25,000 came this year, and another two dozen students are taking classes after the school day ends. The funding, from a local non-profit group called Operation Quality Time, will last through June.

Night schools aren't a new concept. Students in Peoria, for instance, can catch up on credits in after-school classes at the Transition Center. Deer Valley Unified students can take night classes at a district-run charter school.

But Glendale High School's program has two unusual components. It's on campus and it's just $20 - which students get back if they complete the course.

About 89 percent of the 52 students who signed up last year earned credit, Jordan said.

Senior Nafeesa Majeed said the districtwide night school, currently at Moon Valley High School, was too far from her home. She was able to catch up on English at Glendale High School's night school and is slated to graduate this spring.

Students get behind for a variety of reasons.

Nafeesa is an Afghan refugee who moved to Arizona in 2002 with her mother and siblings after her father was killed by the Taliban. She arrived without knowing English. Night school helped her get caught up.

For Johnson, the night school is a clear success. "There's 32 kids there what wouldn't have graduated," she said.