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In a small room, tucked away in the Technology Center behind Worthing High, a group of hand selected students put in up to 11.5 hours a day at school.

Among them was a 17-year-old sophomore named Angela Hines.

“Just like we all do, I just got caught up with the wrong crowd,” Hines said.

Worthing High School’s “grad lab boot camp” is a mini version of HISD’s new, board-approved Twilight Charter School.

The Texas Education Agency gives its approval.

These “grad labs” will pop up at 6 additional campuses across the city.

They’ll offer students a chance to catch up on their grade level or re-enroll after dropping out through after school and Saturday classes.

“The fact is we have a very high dropout rate and we’ve got to think out of the box in terms of how we give these students the opportunity to finish school,” Chuck Morris, HISD’s deputy chief academic officer, said.

If she stays on track, Angela will graduate with her junior class in 2012, just like it was originally scheduled.

She plans to go to TSU and hopes to eventually own a business.

“After school hours is a good thing,” she said. “It stops me from being in trouble. I’m actually learning something that will benefit me in the future.”