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ECISD, Acceleration Academies form partnership to get kids to graduation

We do this work together. It is a phrase Ector County ISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri uses often as he describes the collaboration that is necessary to build successful students.

Wednesday morning, ECISD officially christened a new partnership – though in reality it began work in February – with Acceleration Academies to provide a flexible, blended learning structure that identifies dropout students and provides them with the support needed to reach high school graduation. Acceleration Academies is a national network, yet this will be its first campus in Texas.

“As you all know, Dr. Muri is a trailblazer,” said Mark Graves, Co-founder, Executive Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer of Accelerations Academies. “[We are] making sure that every student inside Ector County ISD has the path, the tools, the personalization, the flexibility that he or she may need to finish those credits and really live a life where they can realize their full potential.”

Since beginning operations in February, Acceleration Academies of Ector County (AAE) has recovered and supported 17 students who have now earned their high school diploma. Right now, 167 more students are enrolled.

"They’ve brought back students who have left us,” said Dr. Muri. “Now those students are sitting in classrooms in this facility and we are very appreciative of them for doing that with us. It is going to make a difference in our community.”

When students arrive at the Acceleration Academies, they are considered graduation candidates; they have a life coach, a career coach, an advocate and they have content coaches to help them with their courses. The smaller environment and multiple supports can make the difference.

Mariah Arriaga, a recent graduate talked about feeling overwhelmed at her traditional high school, and how it contrasted with her experience at Acceleration Academies of Ector County. “When I got here, I really felt the difference,” she said. “I really felt stronger and mentally better and I had more motivation to actually graduate.”

Which she did in May.

“By partnering with Accelerations Academies, no matter what the story of the student may happen to be, we have an opportunity for you in ECISD,” said Dr. Muri.


students & adults cutting a blue ribbon for photographers    Mariah Arriaga at podium, smiling