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Ninth or never

Epilogue: exit exams

Published December 10, 2006


At the end of the 2005-06 school year, 639 ninth graders were left at Northeast out of the 813 who enrolled. Ronnie Jean and 108 others were retained.

Northeast again earned a C grade from the state. It again failed to meet federal standards under No Child Left Behind.

Alex Wert, now 15, finished the year with a 4.4 GPA and ranked 6th in her class. She and Mike are still an item. Alex’s mother now occasionally works as a substitute teacher. She’s still filming.

Marquetta Moore is now 16 and in limbo. The Pinellas school district decided not to change Oak Park’s mission after all, so Quetta, who began the new year at Northeast, transferred to Oak Park Aug. 29. Despite skipping two finals in May, she earned enough credits to become a 10th-grader.

On Oct. 17, Quetta was suspended for eight days after causing a disruption and hitting another student. On Oct. 30, she was suspended indefinitely after a “verbal altercation” with another student.  She returned in early November but has been mostly absent since then. She now has three abscessed teeth.

Ronnie Jean, now 15, returned to Northeast in August and soon began skipping again. On Sept. 6, his mother had him readmitted to A Safe Place 2 B, and two weeks later, the truancy court judge ordered a 35-day stay. Ronnie got out Oct. 11. His attendance at Northeast continues to be sporadic.
According to police reports, Ronnie’s sister gave his mother a black eye Sept. 17 after a spat over the stereo. According to Mom, authorities put Ronnie’s 2-year-old niece in the care of relatives after Ronnie’s sister failed a drug test.

John Klarides quit working at Chuck E. Cheese’s over the summer after getting a job at a Hollister clothing store. A few weeks later, he quit Hollister and got hired at McDonald’s. He sold his Buick.In October, John underwent surgery for a fractured jaw after a fight with his best friend. Afterward, Pastor Don told him, “You have the smell of hell all around you.”John, now 17, has not re-enrolled in a GED class. According to state and federal standards, the schools have failed him. He’s a child left behind.

He and Mandie are expecting a baby boy April 18.


[Last modified December 11, 2006, 11:51:47]

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