Special Education Students Achieve Higher Graduation Rates With the Right Support
Hendry County Schools, Florida
About the District
8,914 students, 14.1% students with disabilities, 58.7% Hispanic, 23.9% Black, 15% White
Apex Courses, Tutorials
Special education students at Clewiston High School struggled with the online curriculum they were using for credit recovery, to the point where they either dropped out of school or just couldn’t graduate. They had significantly lower graduation rates than their general education peers, a situation that one ESE (Exceptional Student Education) teacher dedicated himself to rectifying. The challenge was to help them recover their credits and increase their GPAs, while also adhering to their IEPs. But they needed an online curriculum with the right supports to make progress.
“I wanted those kids to have the same opportunity to walk across what we call Cane Field [the football stadium], which is a historic graduation ceremony…it’s a very special thing for the kids in this community.”
That ESE teacher, Reko Parantha, is now the Assistant Principal at Clewiston High School. His quest for a better solution to give special education students the same opportunity to succeed as general education students started with a small-scale implementation of Apex Learning in 2011. He made sure the district’s administration was aware of the positive results. Hendry County Schools expanded Apex to other programs over the years and, in June 2021, it made Apex the districtwide solution to meet the needs of students and teachers.
After the first full year of implementing the program, Clewiston High School was able to raise the ESE graduation rate from approximately 70% to 91%. With support from the district, Mr. Parantha continued to expand the program—he believed that they could increase the graduation rate of ESE students even more. Fast forward 10 years, and Apex is the district-wide solution, with the flexibility to offer in-person, blended, and virtual learning.
Apex gives Hendry the flexibility to meet the needs of all students and teachers and provide more options for learning. The district has continued to use Apex for in-person instruction for credit recovery. Some teachers use it in a blended learning classroom for whole-group instruction. Students who are immunocompromised (or have family members who are) can receive fully virtual instruction through Hendry Online Learning Academy.
Programs that Drive Success
Learn more about the programs used by this school community to achieve results.
Digital curricula for grade 6 through adult learners help students reach graduation goals and beyond through flexible, personalized first-time credit, credit recovery, and expanded course access.
Courses & Curriculum
Pretest-driven concept recovery to help grade 6–12 students catch up and find success in the courses they’re taking and the tests they’re preparing for.
Assessments, Supplemental & Intervention