Oyler: One School One Year

About This Episode


Can a school save a community? Oyler: One School, One Year asks just that, telling the story of a Cincinnati public school fighting to break the cycle of poverty. The neighborhood is urban Appalachian — an insular community with roots in the coal mining towns of Kentucky and West Virginia. Before 2006, very few teens from Lower Price Hill finished high school, much less went to college. The local Oyler School only went through eighth grade. After that, rather than ride the bus out of the neighborhood for high school, most kids dropped out.

Under long-time Principal Craig Hockenberry’s leadership, Oyler School is part of the growing community schools movement. The school has transformed into a “community learning center,” where it serves students from preschool through 12th grade, and is open year-round, from early morning until late at night. It has become a one-stop-shop for its students and their families, combining academic, health and social services under one roof. Based on the Marketplace radio series "One School, One Year," Oyler takes viewers through a year at the school, focusing on Hockenberry's mission to transform a community and on senior Raven Gribbins's quest to be the first in her troubled family to finish high school and go to college. When Hockenberry's job is threatened, it becomes clear it's a make-or-break year for both of them.