Local high school making sure students succeed in and out of classroom

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What if you could leave school with more than just a diploma? One Valley charter high school is making sure its students survive in and out of the classroom.

Brittany Conley, 20, has an opportunity to finally get her diploma, thanks to Robert L. Duffy High School. It’s the newest Career Success Charter School east of downtown Phoenix.

"I called the principal and I'm like, 'I don't have money for daycare, what I should do?'” Conley said. “She [Principal Krissyn Sumare] said just pick one of your classes as child development. You can take that as a class and you don't have to pay nothing."

The child development program is just one elective class drawing students like Conley to this charter high school.  

"We do a lot of things on campus before they graduate with career focus, especially with the community colleges and university,” Bob Duffy said.

Duffy is the school's superintendent. Some other classes prepping the students for the workforce include computers, culinary, health science and fitness.

"Everyone is going to have to go to work at some point in their life,” Duffy said. “So we try to mirror what they probably are going to do in the future."

This is something senior Kyle Doolittle really enjoys. A chance to not only learn the  basics when it comes to math to English, but also walk away with life skills to make it in the real world.
"Benefits people in the long run,” Doolittle said. “So they have more experience than other people and it keeps them a step ahead in the job hunt."

"Not every student comes here with a sad story,” Sumare said. “We have students that come here from the most affluent neighborhoods in the Valley, coming here because the atmosphere is awesome."

Sumare believes it's not just the classes attracting students to come to the school.

"We have essentially four monolithic concrete domes,” said the school’s architect, Rick Crandall.

That's right, students are learning in planet-shaped domes.

"These particular buildings weigh approximately 172 tons each and that includes the roofs,” Crandall continued.

"I think it's very unique and lets us stick out in the area,” Doolittle said. “So people know where we are, but I believe the programs here actually make us stick out more."

For more information on Robert L. Duffy High School, go to Career Success Schools.