CORE gives students time to reflect, and that’s important, says Principal William Sprankles.

It’s also about looking beyond graduation rates and focusing on teaching kids the life skills they’ll need to succeed after high school—life skills such as introspection, goal-setting, conflict resolution, and time management.

“We have the highest graduation rate for African-American males in the state [98 percent], but that’s not enough,” Sprankles said. “Students need skills beyond graduating. Another purpose of CORE is to figure out how we can get the other two percent to graduate. It’s about every student, not just some.”