Tribune-Courier General Manager
DRAFFENVILLE — Marshall County’s graduation rate for 2011 was 78.5 percent, slightly below the 2010 rate of 79.2 percent, according to figures released last week by the state Department of Education.
The number is on track with the state’s overall figure, which was 78 percent.
The report also revealed a gap between male and female graduation rate in Marshall County. In 2011 the graduation rate for males was 72.8 percent, while females achieved an 84.1 percent rate.
Graduation rates are determined through a model that compares a school’s number of graduates to its class enrollment as freshmen in 2007-08 and sophomores in 2008-09. This model will be used until 2013, when a new computation mandated by the U.S. Department of Education is implemented. That model will follow each freshman until graduation to track the rate.
The current model can be affected by issues such as population loss or growth and does not account for transfer students.
Marshall County High School principal Amy Waggoner said the district has a number of programs in place to identify and assist students who are at risk of dropping out.
She said the process of identifying those students starts at the middle school level, where results of the EXPLORE test gives teachers the information they need to target students who may need help.
Waggoner said those students attend transitional math and reading classes at the high school as freshmen.
Also in place is an advisor-advisee program which assigns a group of students to a teacher as freshmen. The teacher follows them throughout their high school career.
“This is another relationship forged with an adult who meets with them 15-20 minutes each day,” Waggoner said. “The hope is that we identify an individual’s unique problems and work with them one-on-one to correct them and give them every chance for success.”
Perhaps the most successful program offered by the school, according to Waggoner, is the opportunity for students to gain credit recovery during regular school hours.
“We were finding out so many students did not have transportation or had to work through the summer that it was difficult for them to attend summer school,” she said.
“By offering the credit recovery program as an elective during the school day, we were able to bring about 99 credit recoveries last year.”