04/11/10 — WCPS kicks off stay in school effort

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WCPS kicks off stay in school effort

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 11, 2010 1:50 AM

With about eight weeks to go before the school-year ends, officials are working to inspire students to give it their best.

After a week-long spring break, students in Wayne County Public Schools return to classes on Monday.

In the coming weeks, younger grades will ready for end-of-grade tests, while high schoolers will complete end-of-course tests.

But ultimately, it's all about going the distance and making it to graduation.

To drive the point home, the district this week will hold its second annual "Stay in School Week," hosting activities that promote the message of getting that high school diploma.

"Throughout the year, our schools emphasize to students the importance of earning a high school diploma. 'Stay in School Week' is a local initiative designed by our administrators and promoted by the Wayne County Board of Education to draw extra attention to the importance of graduating from high school," said Dr. Steven Taylor, WCPS Superintendent.

At its recent board meeting, the school board issued a proclamation declaring April 12-16 as "Stay in School Week."

The emphasis is on obtaining a high school diploma, the board said -- recognizing that students who do not are more likely to be incarcerated, suffer from poor health, earn less money to support a family and are more likely to need assistance from the government or other agencies.

Educators have been encouraged to incorporate messages about the importance of staying in school throughout the week.

One of the biggest events planned will be bringing back the "Choice Bus" to the area. The modified school bus is half classroom, half prison cell, and is designed to create a visual for students of what might happen if they drop out of school.

When it was brought to Wayne County last year, the bus -- sponsored by AT&T of North Carolina and created to help reduce dropout rates -- visited Brogden and Dillard middle schools.

This year, it will visit all 10 of the district's middle schools.