CAMPUS: Credit recovery system Bruins IS expanded to help students graduate

As distance learning continues, students may be struggling with lower grades and potentially failed classes. In an attempt to alleviate missing credits, SCHS expanded Bruins Independent Study in Jan. 2021, making it available to all students. Bruins IS is a credit recovery system that was previously available to some students.

“It (Bruins IS) is helping students who need to make up classes they struggled in,” Principal Gregory Shelby said.

For seniors, a failed class can be the difference between graduating high school or not.

“We recognize that for some students, distance learning is really difficult, and we did see an increase in Ds and Fs,” Shelby said. “Particularly for our seniors, we were looking for ways to help students make up for classes that they had failed. We didn’t want that to harm their chances of graduation.”

Bruins IS offers its services through an online platform called Cyber High. Students are able to work at their own pace in a class of five to 15 students. According to Shelby, each student works on their assignments individually while supervising teachers offer extra assistance if needed.

“Students have to work independently on the program, and of course, the teachers provide tutoring if the student needs more help,” Bruins IS teacher Timea Kiraly said.

Since Bruins IS is more student-centered, there is no set pacing, and according to Kiraly, this means the credit recovery class is completed as soon as the curriculum is done.

“Every student is working at his or her own pace,” Kiraly said. “Some students work very fast actually, and those students who work very fast don’t have to stay until the end of the semester. They can get out as soon as they are finished.”

According to Shelby, in past years, the program was only available to some students.

“This is the first year where it is available to any student who needed it,” Shelby said. “We’re actually looking at expanding it.”

An increase in Ds and Fs, according to Shelby, necessitated a larger credit recovery system. Consequently, some see Bruins IS as another helping hand SCHS can offer students during difficult times.

“The goal is to increase the graduation rate,” Kiraly said. “It prepares the students for online testing and (for) college and career.”