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Here They Come!
Here They Come!
High school commencement is a right of passage for our youth. Last week we heard that Wisconsin was the only state in the entire country to meet the new national benchmark for graduation rates. The national goal set by the federal government is that 9 out of every 10 students graduate from high school.
Wisconsin’s graduation rate is over that 90% mark. A spokesperson for Alliance for Excellent Education, Jason Amos, said he believes Wisconsin did the right thing when it addressed “problem high schools,” which are defined as having a graduation rate of 60% or less.
The School District of the Menomonie Area has a 99% graduation rate and the goal of our high school staff is to make it 100%. The board of education made a significant decision last year when they closed the Lucas Charter School. The dropout rate was over 60% and was one of the factors considered in making the change.
I had the opportunity to visit with a classroom of our students at the “new” MHS Alternative Program this week. They were energized and excited about their program and new location. Closing Lucas was controversial for some, so I asked them if they liked their new location better. There was 100% agreement that the new location was better.
They were talking about jobs and college just like the rest of our students at MHS. Project-based learning, career and college counseling, and the flexibility that allows alternative programming to operate a little differently, are supporting their aspirations.
They talked a lot about learning being their personal responsibility. We have great students in the alternative education program who simply learn differently than most. I was very impressed with our discussion. They told me it is not about “who” they are but, more importantly, about “how” they learn. All of them said they were on track to graduate on time or even early.
Graduation is right around the corner. This will be the first group of alternative school students participating in the MHS graduation ceremony. All of the seniors are feeling the traditional “senioritis,” regardless of where in the building they attend classes!
Graduation also means celebrations and recognition. Scholarships and awards were presented at MHS on Monday night. Over $54,000 in scholarships were presented to very deserving students. In addition, there were many awards for community service, leadership, and academics.
Approximately 70% of our graduates will go on to a technical school or university. Some of the others will join the military, move into the workforce, or seek specialized training!
Here they come, world!
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