PORTAGE | Dozens of people streamed in and out of Neighbors' New Vistas High School in Portage Thursday night during an open house to showcase the charter school.
The school, opened a couple of years ago and authorized by Ball State University Office of Charter Schools, enables students, no matter what age, to re-enroll in high school to earn a high school diploma. If offers students an alternative learning program to earn their diploma at their own pace.
As members of the community, family members and local politicians walked into the building, Principal Shaunna Finley said students were on hand to take them on tours and teachers were available to talk with them.
Some students were in the computer lab working on computer-based credit recovery program, some were at basketball practice and a handful were studying math and English in preparation of assessments. The school has 171 students on the high school diploma track and another 100 students working on a GED.
Casey Jones, 17, of Gary said she was formerly a student at Hobart High School and Lowell High School. She said she got into trouble and her mother suggested she try New Vistas.
"I'm doing much better now," she said. "This allows me to go at my own pace. I've already earned five credits. I have 17 more to go before I can graduate."
Portage Mayor James Snyder called the school a real prize for the city.
"It's regionally located and everybody can get to it," he said after touring the building.
"I think education is a priority for our community. This gives students a second chance, and people come here from all over the region," he said.
Pastor Scott Marshall, of Real Life Community Church in Portage, toured the building with his eight-year-old son Hudson. "I love this school. It's the kind of place that can meet the needs of kids. I think Shaunna Finley is an incredible leader. She's full of passion and energy about education," he said.