"These kids have more going for them now, before they graduate high school, than most adults ever have," Roge says. "It has to do with … their ability to take what we give them in class and go beyond that."
It also has to do with the small, family feel of the school, students and staff say. In a city where the public high schools have more than 2,500 students each, BETA, a charter school, enrolled 575 students for the 2010–2011 school year.
"It's very difficult for a student to get lost. If something happens in a student's life, by lunch—definitely by the end of the day—one of the teachers has picked up on it," says Roge. "It's like one big family dinner table."
Students and teachers regularly connect via E-mail, text message, and Facebook, and Roge says she couldn't imagine it any other way.
[Read more about students and teachers connecting via social media.]
"The lines here are so blurred between who we are and what we do. I really think that's the key," Roge says. "They're like our children. I call myself their techie mama."
See U.S. News's coverage of Technology in the Classroom.