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Published March 29, 2012, 08:18 PM

Crookston Learning Center That Helps Students Catch Up Facing Deficit of $130K

CROOKSTON, MN (WDAZ-TV) - A Crookston learning center is in the red after losing some students from outside the district. Faculty and staff are looking at new ways to attract students through technology.

CROOKSTON, MN (WDAZ-TV) - A Crookston learning center is in the red after losing some students from outside the district. Faculty and staff are looking at new ways to attract students through technology.

The New Paths Area Learning Center helps teens reclaim credits, pass classes and ultimately graduate. After nearly 30 years, teachers hope to continue helping students who need it.

Being a teenager can be stressful at times. Between classes, friends and homework, some struggle to keep their grades up.

"We're an alternative educational program for students who struggle in a traditional school setting," Learning Center lead teacher Kari Hasz said.

he New Paths Area Learning Center provides support and help for those who need it in Crookston and the surrounding areas.

"It's really their main source of recovering from failing a class, they have to retake it and this is the way students in Crookston do that," Hasz said.

The center helps more than 100 students, but recently lost nearly a dozen from out of the school district. The center gets extended day funding which provides some support for the classes, but has a deficit of more than $130,000.

"We really need the student participation to really help this program operate without a deficit," Crookston Superintendent Wayne Gilman said.

One way the school district is trying to help is by adding learning alternatives for those who may not be able to drive to Crookston to get the help they need.

"The students that are coming from other areas, it may be economic, they can't afford to drive here, gas money is an issue, that's why we're looking at alternative means like skype or online learning," Gilman said.

The program is for anyone in Minnesota. Faculty and staff hope technology and new methods will allow their center to grow.

"We're really trying to work now side by side with the students in their classes before they fail," Hasz said.

"We're really trying different things to keep the enrollment up otherwise in the future we may have to look at our staff configuration," Gilman said.

The school board will be addressing the deficit in the near future, but for now Gilman says they plan to keep everything the way it is.

The program is also for those who have scheduling conflicts or just need to take an extra class to graduate.

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