LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Oakland High School in Lafayette is celebrating a special milestone this week. It's officially given out 5,000 class credits since opening 10 years ago.
Oakland is an alternative school for high school students who have struggled to learn in a traditional classroom. The school typically serves around 60 students per year.
Like a traditional school, students at Oakland earn credits for a class once they've completed the course. But the difference is Oakland classes are competency-based, meaning students can learn at their own pace and earn a class credit as soon as they prove they've mastered the topic. They don't have to keep up or wait on other students in the class.
Sophomore Trinity Foley is the student who reached that 5,000th credit this week. She said she switched to Oakland after struggling to get through her classes at her traditional school after being a victim of bullying. She said transitioning to Oakland was a great decision.
"It's definitely helped make me a better student," said Foley. "I have straight A's, which I haven't had in a very long time and my mom even says she really thinks I would have ended up dropping out of school had I not come here."
Principal David Walker said this milestone is a sign that the school is meeting its mission to help students stay on the right track.
"Those may be students that had we not been here, they may not have made it across the stage," said Walker. "We're providing opportunities for kids to get themselves prepared for the next level in their education. We know the benefits of a high school diploma."
This school year alone, students in total earned more than 430 credits. And over the course of 10 years, at least 150 got their high school diploma.
Seniors are set to graduate in person in just two weeks on Thursday, Jun. The class of 2020 seniors will also be able to walk as their graduation was a drive-by due to the pandemic.