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Redmond Proficiency Academy officials, students talk about how it’s reached over 98% graduation rate

RPA focuses on individualized learning, not a one-model approach

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Each year, Redmond Proficiency Academy gets hundreds more applications than they have spots in the classrooms, and that popularity is evident in a nearly 100% graduation rate.

"We started RPA for the kid that was shoved out into the hallway to learn geometry while the rest of the class learned algebra," RPA Marketing Coordinator and Business Director Sandy Cloud shared Tuesday with NewsChannel21.

"So we have these advanced students, and these college-bound students, these university-bound students who were kind of stuck learning on their own because their institution didn't have ways that they could progress."

Vivian McDaniel believes for her, it's a better fit than a traditional public school.

"The way that they support advanced courses -- there are so many different pathways for that -- and the way they cater truly to you," McDaniel said.

The school has nearly 900 sixth through 12th-grade students, predominantly from Central Oregon.

RPA Executive Director John Bullock said, "We’ve got a graduation rate of over 98% percent, and we focus on providing students a proficiency-based education in a personalized learning environment."

But the academy is certainly not easy to get into. 

Last year, RPA had over 650 applicants, and of those, roughly 150 to 200 students were enrolled. 

Sophomore Edison Medloch started at the academy last year.

“The AP (advanced placement) capstone diploma -- essentially it’s where you take two AP classes, AP seminar, and AP research, and then four other AP classes," Medloch said. "You have to pass all those and you graduate with a couple more credits, and it really allows you to increase your opportunities in a college."

After applicants apply to attend RPA, a lottery system determines who gets in. Once a family member gets in, siblings can automatically enroll.

Bullock said, “Every student has a personalized education plan, every student has a plan for post graduation, and every course they take and every meeting they have is designed to get them to that next step."

But despite the long yearly wait lists, the academy says it isn’t looking into expansion at this time.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.


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