The selection of students that participate in the E=O2™ program is based upon teachers and/or counselor recommendations. All students will complete an application and be interviewed by teachers, counselors, or coordinators for selection into the program. Factors considered are 6th grade CST scores, low academic performance, high social skills, high academic performance, and/or low social skills (students with a high likelihood of being bullied). To earn a laptop, high academically performing students must tutor a low academically performing student to achieve a 3.5 GPA. This enables students to create an interactive and supportive peer group that might otherwise have never been formed. No more than 20% of students with a GPA of 3.5 or more may participate in the E=O2™ program to facilitate tutoring of students with above a 2.0 GPA to achieve at least a 3.5 GPA. Other requirements include:
- Parents must participate in at least two school parent/teacher activities. If the student does not have a parent or guardian, the student must agree to commit to volunteer time.
- Students with a 3.5 GPA entering the E=O2™ program must commit to 20 hours of tutoring and community service over the course of the academic year.
- Students with a 3.5 GPA or above whose grades drop between semesters, must participate in mandatory tutoring to continue their participation in the E=O2™program.
- Students whose disciplinary referrals increase between semesters are subject to disqualification from earning the incentive.
- Students must commit to one academic term, one hour a week, within a Male or Female Academy Club, engaging in life skills training with mentors and role models provided by the E=O2™ program and teachers.
- Students must have no less than 90% attendance to participate in the E=O2™ program. Extenuating circumstances, such as family health or bereavement, for students who fall below the standard will be evaluated by Academy leaders to determine continued participation.
- Students must attend a field trip to a business and complete a mock employment application and interview. The employment application tests their writing skills and enables students to see firsthand the skills, certifications, and education employers are looking for, and, just as importantly, not looking for (i.e. Have you been convicted of a felony). The interview challenges the students’ verbal communication and critical thinking skills, and reinforces the importance of these skills in obtaining employment. The students also have an opportunity to enjoy a pizza lunch as they learn how a business is structured with various departments and functional areas (such as Accounting, IT, Marketing, Sales, etc.) and hear presentations by role models, including employees, who describe their job, their journeys, and how education factored into their success. Students also have an opportunity to ask questions of the speakers.