05/04/09 — Schools encouraging graduation

View Archive

Schools encouraging graduation

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 4, 2009 1:46 PM

As high school graduations approach, Wayne County Public Schools will introduce "Stay in School Week" this week in hopes of motivating underclassmen to stay the course.

More than 1,100 graduates are expected to walk across the stage and receive diplomas at the district's seven high schools this year, officials said.

And with that in mind, today through Friday will feature activities promoting graduation and encouraging students to stay in school.

"Our schools emphasize the importance of earning a high school diploma throughout the year, and 'Stay in School Week' will allow schools the opportunity to draw extra attention to the importance of graduating from high school," said Dr. Steve Taylor, schools superintendent.

Among the events planned for the week, the "Choice Bus" is scheduled to visit Brogden and Dillard middle schools on Wednesday. The modified school bus is half classroom, half prison cell, and is designed to show students what might happen if they drop out of school.

"It is proven that many individuals who end up in prison never graduated from high school," said Dr. Sandra McCullen, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction. "The 'Choice Bus' is a great tool to help students understand where they may end up if they choose not to earn their high school diploma."

Created by the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, an Alabama-based nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing dropout rates, the "Choice Bus" is sponsored by AT&T of North Carolina and currently travels across the state to visit eighth-grade students.

Other events also are planned at the two schools, including a 26-minute video being shown during social studies classes at Brogden and Dillard. Filmed inside two of Alabama prisons, the videos feature testimonials while warning students of the dangers of dropping out.

The district's new cable access channel, WCEA, on Time Warner Cable Channel 18, will also air daily showings of the video, "Inside Out."

Additionally, schools and educators are being encouraged to hold events this week, such as "College T-shirt Day" and "Stay in School Pledge" signings. Teachers have been asked to display posters of their alma maters and to hold discussions about the importance of graduation.

Also during the week, schools are planning to share information and statistics as part of the morning announcements.

And as part of tonight's Board of Education meeting, a proclamation will be read in honor of "Stay in School Week."