By Macy Weddle
“Well I believe everybody deserves a second chance, and you know, sometimes kids make mistakes,” assistant principal Mr. Ross Elwood said. A ‘second chance’ at anything may sound easy but this process is far from that.
The DLC (Delta Learning Center) is an alternative learning opportunity for students, usually seniors, who must make their high school credits up in order to graduate. This is located at Delta High School, and you can find this room between the athletic office and the main office.
The main way you enter this program is a recommendation from your counselor, or you can also ask one of the assistant principals or principal to be put into this program. You will then have a meeting with your parents, unless you are 18, in that case, your parents do not need to come. A common misconception about DLC is that people are only in it because they are “bad kids,” but that’s certainly not the case. There are many students from different high school backgrounds that end up going into the DLC.
“It’s not just for kids who are behind on their credits, it could be for someone who has a medical condition or we’ve had some students with anxiety issues come in, so regular school just didn’t work for them,” Elwood said.
In his role as assistant principal, Elwood is also partly in charge of PASS (Positive Alternative for School Suspension) and the DLC with instructional aides Mr. Chris Thompson and Mr. Richard Cooper.
To ensure that the students are working well during their time in DLC, they have time waves for two separate DLC classes. The morning class is from 8am-11am, and the afternoon class is from noon-3pm.
The students in DLC use an online learning platform called PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations). Almost every class that is offered at Delta is also on PLATO. Because it is self-directed, PLATO works best when the students are highly motivated.
Although the DLC students have tools that help students with their credits and their work, this process is far from easy. Students have to work hard to earn these credits back, they are not handed to them.
“I’ve had people who will be like ‘Oh it’s fine, I’ll just flunk everything freshman year and then get into DLC’ but it’s not that easy,”Elwood said, It’s not that easy to come in and get 20 or 30 credits,”
Although this is a difficult process to go through, there are many students who think that it is an easy process. So the DLC administrators are working hard to ensure students are not just failing all of their classes because they know that the DLC is a backup option. In total there are approximately 30 students in the DLC each year. But that number will decrease throughout the year because students will earn their credits and graduate.
Students in the DLC are allowed to go to prom, and in some cases, students in the DLC who go to the MACC (Muncie Area Career Center), will go to lunch as well. This program seems simple but this is a life changing thing for so many students, no matter what background they come from. Whether they have mental characteristics that prevent them from learning in the normal school atmosphere, or they are going to the army, or they just need a second chance due to their past.
“Not everybody learns at the same pace or same time as everybody else,” Elwood said. “It’s not a ‘one size fits all’.”