Adriana said she never felt comfortable on the crowded Birmingham campus and started ditching classes. Natalie bounced around after her family moved. For both, Options for Youth provided another shot at a diploma.
But for every graduate, about nine other students leave without diplomas.
Hall is philosophical about them.
"I can't get them all," he said. "It's just a tsunami here of kids who need services. Give me a break. You can't save every kid."
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
Of the 1,087 freshmen who entered Birmingham High in 2001, 358 are known to have transferred to other schools. Where they went:
|Type of||students who||Percent who|
* These include vocational schools, continuation schools and independent study programs that provide some personal instruction.
Sources: Los Angeles Unified School District, Times reporting
Data analysis by Sandra Poindexter
About This Series
Students drastically limit their prospects by dropping out of high school. To understand why so many do, The Times spent eight months studying Birmingham High School in Van Nuys.
On the Web
A photo gallery, discussion forum and other multimedia features, along with previous articles in this series, are available at latimes.com/dropouts. Use the Graduation Tracker to explore graduation rates and demographics for Los Angeles public high schools.
Times staff writer Evelyn Larrubia contributed to this story.