Education

A year ago, WFPL dedicated several months of reporting to exploring the lives and circumstances of Louisville’s at-risk students. The resultant documentary, At Risk: Louisville’s Daunting Education Challenge, aired in May 2014; you can listen to it below. Nearly a year later, we’re revisiting the students in the documentary.

Ashley Taylor missed more than 50 days of class last school year.

Her anxiety began freshman year of high school. It caused her to be chronically truant, which research says is an early indicator that a student will drop out.

It wasn’t until she transferred into one of Jefferson County Public Schools’ alternative programs, where class sizes are smaller and staff has open door policies, that Ashley began attending school regularly.

That’s where we left Ashley’s story last May in the WFPL documentary “At Risk.

IMG_0173 (1)Devin Katayama | wfpl.org

Ashley, now a junior, has been attending the alternative program, Liberty High School, everyday, which is a major step, her mom said.

“I really like Liberty now,” said Ashley. “It’s be best high school I have been to.”

She is currently taking biology, arts and humanities, English and history courses; she likes the smaller class sizes. Her GPA has improved from a 3.2 to a 3.5.

In 2014, Ashley Taylor discussed her difficulties attending classes.

Ashley also has a job working with UPS. Liberty High School has a partnership with the company, where selected students can take classes on-campus and then be transported to UPS to work. She can stick with the program through college, with the opportunity for UPS to help pay for school, she said.

For now, Ashley said she plans on graduating from Liberty High. Separately, she stopped seeing her psychologist at the end of last year, she said.