Class of 17

5:30 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Class Of '17: This High Schooler Hopes To Graduate Early

Kelli standing proudly in her bedroom. A few days earlier, mom says it was a mess and Kelli spent time cleaning it up.
Bill Zeeble KERA News

Kelli Bowdy, one of the students we’re following in our Class of '17 series, is almost through her freshman year at Fort Worth’s O.D. Wyatt High School. She’s even thinking about graduating early. Nationwide, only 3 percent of high school kids manage that.  

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Class of '17
10:59 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Class of '17: Dealing With Depression, And Finding An Outlet

Phantasia Chavers, a ninth grader in Cedar Hill, wants to learn how to play the guitar. She's been battling depression and has been teased at school. She says she doesn't want to do what other kids think is popular.
Stella M. Chávez KERA News

One in 10 adolescents suffers from depression by age 18. It’s something that one of the members of KERA's Class of '17 is wrestling with. The series is part of a nationwide public broadcasting initiative called American Graduate. This week, we check back in with Cedar Hill ninth grader Phantasia Chavers.

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5:30 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Class Of '17: Ricky Rijos Is On The Road To Getting His Learner's Permit

Ricky Rijos took a dinner break at Lifetime gym before he headed to a private driver's ed school.
Bill Zeeble KERA News

For decades, it’s been a rite of passage for American teens. Now it’s Ricky Rijos’ turn. The Flower Mound freshman is learning to drive.

Ricky is a member of KERA's Class of '17, a group of North Texas kids we’re following from eighth grade through graduation.

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1:54 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

New Language Center Will Assist Immigrant Families In Grapevine-Colleyville District

Yolanda Bautista has lived in Grapevine for 13 years. She says she welcomes a language assessment center because she would like to talk to school officials about how her two sons — Abraham, 10 and Daniel, 7 — are doing in learning English.
Stella Chavez KERA News

When families arrive from another country, school districts have to determine a student’s home language and explain to parents how the school system here works. We look at how one suburban school district is opening a center similar to those found in larger, urban districts.

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4:35 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Why Is Middle School So Tough?


Middle school can be a tough transitional period. Students leave the comfortable nest of elementary school and face new challenges like harder classes and older kids.

Middle school students and the obstacles they face were the focus on Monday’s noon hour of “Think.” The show reairs tonight at 9 on KERA 90.1 FM or listen online.

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6:52 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

At One North Texas Charter School, A Trilingual Approach To Learning

Ninth-grader Alex Gutierrez is learning Mandarin Chinese at International Leadership of Texas in Garland. The school requires that all students learn Mandarin and Spanish.
Credit Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

All year long, KERA has followed several Class of 17 students from eighth grade to high school. Today, we catch up with Alex Gutierrez, whose struggles in math sent her to summer school. Alex is now in a brand-new charter school with a multicultural twist.

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3:58 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Boys Can Be Bookish: In One Dallas ISD Book Club, Boys Outnumber Girls

Boys outnumber girls in an afterschool book club at W.W. Samuell Early College High School in Dallas. The club is finishing up reading Fahrenheit 451 and plans to read Into the Wild next.
Credit Stella M. Chávez

When you think of book clubs, you don’t necessarily think of boys. And when you look at the most recent Nation's Report Card, the scores reveal that boys don't fare as well as girls on reading tests. Here's one book club in Dallas ISD that's bucking that trend.

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11:48 am
Fri November 29, 2013

One-On-One Attention Is Key For Students, Education Writer Says

Celebrated education writer Jonathan Kozol, taking a break at the University of North Texas in Denton, where he recently spoke at an education seminar.
Bill Zeeble KERA News

In his most recent book, Fire in the Ashes, celebrated education writer Jonathan Kozol follows some of the nation’s poorest children, from infancy through young adulthood.

As part of KERA's American Graduate initiative, Kozol talked about struggles many students face to succeed in school, and obstacles schools confront to teach them.

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1:29 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Meet Phantasia: Our Newest Class Of 17 Student

Phantasia Chavers is a student at Cedar Hill's Ninth Grade Center.
Credit Willow Blythe / KERA News

Phantasia Chavers has faced a lot of heartachce for a 14-year-old: a stepdad who died in a car crash, a dad in prison, a cousin shot to death. But this 9th grader has her sights set firmly on college, and she's just started out as a football trainer.

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Class Of 17
5:30 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Class Of 17: 'Coachable' And Heading To High School

Ricky Rijos, Jr., at home, a few days before he enters Flower Mound High School as a freshman. He's confident he'll make one of two 9th grade basketball teams at school
Willow Blythe KERA News

On this first day of school for most kids across the state, we check in with one of the North Texas students we’re following from 8th grade all the way to graduation. Today, we catch up with a member of KERA’s Class of 17 – Ricky Rijos Jr., who’s starting his freshman year at Flower Mound High.

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