Setting an Early Pace for High School Success in Paxton, IL

Setting an Early Pace for High School Success in Paxton, IL

Paxton-Buckley-Loda Senior High School

Success Story


Credit recovery is a critical part of the high school mission, giving students an opportunity to stay on track to graduation when they would otherwise be unable to earn enough credits. Often, credit recovery is focused toward those students with the most acute need for the services: seniors and juniors.

Some schools have expanded credit recovery to offer it earlier to keep students on track from the beginning of high school; however, small schools often lack the resources to offer such a widespread program.

“In our previous credit recovery strategy, the students were paying for the courses themselves, at $160 per credit, because we simply did not have the means ourselves,” shared Paxton-Buckley-Loda (PBL) Senior High School Principal Travis Duley.

PBL High School, in a rural district in Illinois, is the product of decades of district consolidation due to enrollment, and it serves nearly 500 students from five different counties.

The district initially investigated Edmentum Courseware as an alternative education program, but soon saw that blended learning could help all students who fall behind.


A student’s path to graduation begins as soon as a freshman steps through the door. In a reflection of its importance as an indicator of future success, the state of Illinois tracks the rate of freshmen who are on track for graduation on every school’s state report card.

Rather than waiting until senior year to recover needed credits, PBL High School has been helping underclassmen catch up with their peers through Courseware’s blended learning solution, which has yielded benefits that extend beyond statistics.

For example, class sizes in the core classes stay at manageable levels when students no longer have to retake courses in person. Personnel and other resources can be redirected to other areas of the school, and first-time students benefit from more attention from the teacher—lowering the chances of students needing to recover credits in the first place.

More flexibility and a wider selection of available courses also help engage students by reflecting their interests beyond school and giving them more paths to success.

“Edmentum’s course flexibility and selection helps students succeed that normally would struggle,” Mr. Duley said. “If a student needs a science credit to graduate, and they have been struggling in biology, that credit doesn’t necessarily have to be in biology anymore.”


The correlation between freshman success and eventual graduation is particularly strong at PBL High School. If that continues, the school has a lot to look forward to in the coming years.

“Our freshman on-track rate from the state increased 11 percent in the first year of our using Edmentum Courseware for credit recovery,” reported Mr. Duley.

Edmentum Products
  • Courseware
District Profile
  • 470 students
  • Grades 9 to 12
  • 93% Caucasian
  • 6% Hispanic
  • 38% economically disadvantaged
  • 13% special education