Vicksburg-Warren works to increase high school grad rate

December 28, 2019 GMT

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — A school district in western Mississippi has been working to boost its graduation rate by revising the focus of its high schools, paying attention to students who might drop out and engaging students in a leadership program.

The graduation rate for the Vicksburg Warren School District has gone from 58.5% for the class of 2013 to more than 80% for members the class of 2019, who received their diplomas in May.

The district’s superintendent, Chad Shealy, told the Vicksburg Post that officials are encouraged by the steady increase.

“We work to graduate all students college, career and life prepared,” Shealy said. “In our district, all means all, so we understand there is more work to be done.”

The district said in a statement that it is working to make the high school experience more relevant to students by focusing on college and career preparation. The statement said district employees are also visiting the homes of students who are at risk of dropping out.

The “Leader in Me” program is being used in all Vicksburg-Warren schools.

“It teaches 21st-century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader,” the district statement said.