Student Success - Mark

Customizing Learning for Each Student

Student enrolled full-time overcomes learning difficulties to earn a high school diploma

In elementary school, Mark discovered a talent for athletics in PE and sports, and teachers enjoyed having this shy, sweet boy in their classes. But as he entered middle school, a series of events made it hard for Mark to cope emotionally and keep up with his school work.

At home, his father, whom he was very close to, was in declining health. At school, Mark was being bullied. During class, instead of concentrating on the lesson, he would have anxiety about the next time he'd run into the boys who were bothering him and spend class time strategizing on how to avoid them between classes. Habitually, he would arrive late to his next class and end up in the principal's office, where at least, he felt safe. Gradually, he gave up sports and his attendance became sporadic. Eventually, Mark refused to go to school at all.

Looking for New Learning Alternatives

As Mark began falling behind, his mother, Jane, looked for options to get Mark back on track. First, within his public school, they tried special learning programs like independent study and online courses to help him catch up. But he continued to have trouble managing his assignments and getting to class. He lacked motivation and found that perfectionism held him back from even attempting his work. Not wanting to disappoint his teachers, he used tardiness as an excuse not to go to class at all. "It was a vicious cycle," said Jane. Soon it was clear that Mark might not earn the credits he needed to graduate with his class. He felt more and more like a failure.

Learning at His Own Pace

Frustrated, Jane turned to other parents for help. That’s when another mom told her about Brightmont Academy. Jane met with the director, and realized how the one-to-one instruction provided more of the constant support and encouragement that Mark needed. She enrolled Mark full-time, and saw right away that he connected with the teachers. The years of struggle were hard to overcome and Mark often felt overwhelmed with all he had to do to catch up and graduate. But he liked the caring, supportive staff at Brightmont Academy, and that he could work at his own pace. When he started experiencing success, his habits slowly began to change.

"The teachers were calm and encouraging, which helped relieve his anxiety. He felt safe so he could pay attention and actually learn," said Jane. "The one-to-one instruction really helped build his confidence so that he could learn." Mark started attending Brightmont part-time. When Jane recognized the success he was having, she decided to enroll him as a full-time student so he could earn his high school diploma from Brightmont Academy.

Meeting the Goal of High School Graduation

And that is exactly what he did. Successes built upon successes, and his learning began to accelerate. Last spring, Mark completed all his coursework and is now a proud high school graduate. Jane describes Mark’s experience at Brightmont as a staircase of successes where small steps toward the goal are what made the big difference.

The full-time one-to-one instruction gave Mark the confidence he needed to know he could learn. Completing his class work and getting good grades motivated Mark to want to learn more. "The teachers genuinely cared for Mark as an individual. They took pride in his accomplishments and were able to help him want to learn," said Jane. Having the support of the teachers encouraged Mark to stick with his school work all the way through graduation. Now Mark has aspirations of going to college to study business and sports training. "He's picked up athletics again and is focused on fitness and being healthy," said Jane. With the help of Brightmont Academy and the teacher’s encouragement, Mark has finally blossomed.