BERGEN COUNTY - Seventy-seven Dwight Morrow High School seniors were told they may not be able to graduate, but that's not the case anymore.
Officials say that in a normal year, only about five to 10 students fail to graduate in the entirety of Bergen County. This January, 77 students at Dwight Morrow alone were told they may not because they didn't pass the new PARCC exams.
With less than two months to prepare, the staff worked on alternative assessments.
"As a superintendent, I hold the purse strings," says Superintendent Robert Kravitz. "What does it take to make it happen? I'll find the money."
And so began five Saturday sessions, four hours each, where teachers and students would all get together to work on tests as well as portfolios to make sure they would graduate.
"I'd be like, if you don't come on Saturdays, I'll go to your house and pick you up," says Mariel Rodriguez, an administrative assistant. "I'd call them. I'd call their parents and say, 'Where are they?'"
The school's principal, Peter Elbert, says nearly all of the students showed up to the first Saturday session.
Now, all but one of the 77 will be graduating.