The Rutherford Opportunity Center (ROC) is the county’s alternative school that serves a diverse population of students in grades 6-12 with individual academic and scheduling needs. Academic courses are deigned to comply with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The Diploma program is designed to serve students in an academic setting as an alternative to the traditional high school program. Individual student schedules are developed based upon review of student transcript and other scheduling circumstances. The referral process includes the completion of an application and a referral and review between the home school and ROC. In 2012-2013 school year there was a total student population of 261 students. Challenges consists of high absenteeism, high homeless count (McKinney-Vento), and low-socioeconomic population. The ROC is located in Forest City, NC.