Passport Academy Charter School (PACS), a tuition-free public charter school for under-credited students, serving students under 21 who have not been able to finish their high school education, graduated 33 students on February 3, at the conclusion of their 1st semester.
The ceremony took place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
A special honorary posthumous diploma was given to the family of Elarrah Findley, a Wilkinsburg resident and PACS student who was gunned down on November 24. She was scheduled to walk with her classmates at the ceremony this week.
According to reports in the local Pittsburgh media, Elarrah wanted to become an EMT and was excited to get on with her life.
Principal Jeffrey “Bo” Jackson was the event’s keynote speaker, and PACS Board Chair Phil Parr addressed the students as well, urging them to “go out in this world and be successful.”
“We have to take these moments to celebrate our student’s success, even in the face of unspeakable tragedies,” said Principal Jackson. “Our students, our families, and our communities need to see that good things can happen, that lives can change for the better, and that their hard work will pay off.”
Students enroll in PACS for a number of reasons, including those looking to escape bullying, some who may have fallen academically off track, or those looking for an alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom setting. PACS students access a robust online and in-person curriculum in the core subjects and a host of electives, and attend classes taught by state-licensed teachers.
Spring graduation will take place at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall on June 5, 2020 and close to 100 students are expected to graduate at this time.
“Anytime you see a students walk across the stage is a wonderful feeling,” said Jackson. “Seeing 100 of them ready for this moment and 1,000 people ready to cheer…now that moment is wonderfully surreal for everyone.”
About Passport Academy Charter School
Passport Academy Charter School (PACS) is an accredited, tuition-free Pittsburgh public charter school for under-credited students. Through PACS, students have access to the curriculum provided by K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN), the nation’s leading provider of K-12 proprietary curriculum and online education programs. For more information about PACS, visit pacs.k12.com.