The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

May 17, 2014

WHS joins national pilot project to improve graduation rates

Every school wants to see its students succeed and reach graduation. Officials at Washington have now joined into a pilot project with the United States Department of Education in a graduation initiative.

“We saw an email on this and Principal Leanne Kelly and I thought this would be a good thing for us to pursue,” said WHS Assistant Principal Troy Zollars. “We are one of 70 schools throughout the Midwest that are taking part in this program.”

The program starts with a software that will track important academic and social milestones for students including academic achievement, grade point average, attendance and discipline issues. “If there is a problem, then these students will be red flagged in a monthly report,” said Zollars. “We have an eight member team that will then review those and come up with interventions to try and put the student back on track toward graduation.”

Those interventions could be in any number of forms. “We might try tutoring or working with their peers,” explained Zollars. “It might mean moving the student into a special home room where they can get some additional help. We just want to get on whatever problem the student is having and get them corrected.”

The data will be reviewed by the intervention team at the school and they will also meet with the Department of Education each month. “This project is in the preliminary stages at this point,” said Superintendent Dr. Dan Roach. “We are not spending any money on this and it opens us up to federal resources that we might not have had.”

“Right now we’re trying to get all of that information loaded from our records into the database,” said Zollars. “We will start tracking the progress in August and when the reports start to show problems begin the interventions.”

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