LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– A high school in Little Rock has a select group of students learning at their own pace. There are no bells, and schedules change all the time. It’s all student driven and only 100 students got in.
“They’re working constantly, we’ve been late to almost every class, they’re running to the next class because they’re not done yet, asking questions, having discussions,” says Todd Eskola, Driven Teacher and Athletic Director.
Pulaski County Special School District’s Robinson High School rolled out with the DRIVEN program for the first time this year. The goal? It allows students to learn at their own pace.
“I think it’s helped those kids realize that it’s okay that I’m not as fast as so and so over here or if I don’t know all the answers yet. I’m going to get there,” says Eskola.
DRIVEN is open to all students. Freshman, Avery Caldwell, applied for a spot after hearing about it in middle school.
“I like it that I can manage my own time. For me, I can go through science because that’s an easy subject for me,” says Avery Caldwell, DRIVEN Student.
Here’s how it works. Avery will take Math, Science and other core subjects in classes with other students in the program. They share electives with everyone else on campus.
“I’m really excited for this program and preparing me. I’ll have an easier time going out on my own than like people struggling and not knowing what to do,” says Caldwell.
Caldwell says DRIVEN will set her up for success after graduation. The program is something Athletic Director and DRIVEN Teacher, Todd Eskola says is changing the way students learn.
“It was a student who recognized I need help and was comfortable enough in this environment to go get that help and in 25 years I haven’t seen that with 100 kids in the first 2 weeks of school,” he says. “They are responsible and accountable for their actions and their education.”
Teachers are proud to see an impact so early on and that teens are driven to take control of their future.