Carbon School District counselors appeared before the school board Feb.12 to explain their plans to improve the graduation rate throughout the county.
During the monthly board meeting, the secondary counselors presented their individual school data projects and explained how they plan to encourage graduation goals between parents, children and educators. “We want to make sure we make a difference in kids lives,” explained Lighthouse counselor Karee Hunt. “We set goals for learning that are appropriate.”
Hunt’s main focus this year is to see 100% of the disabled students at Lighthouse graduate. She explained that last year, only 70% of these students received a diploma.
Each month, Hunt meets with these students to check credits, grades and to make plans for after graduation. “A lot of students haven’t really thought much about life after high school,” she stated. “I’m trying to change that through these meetings.”
Regular meetings between parents are also part of the plan to increase the graduation rate at the school. With approximately three months left in the school year, 100% of the students included in the focus group have already completed college admissions paperwork.
Similar plans are underway at Carbon High as well. According to counselor Rick Deaton, several events are offered throughout the year that focus on career and college plans. The counseling team is also trying to increase parent involvement when it comes to graduation and college plans. “We have found that the older the student gets, the less parents are involved in their education plans,” he explained. “We are working to change that.”
At both junior high schools in the Carbon district, counselors are working with students to increase grades and set goals. Amanda Williams from Mont Harmon Junior High explained that improvements have been made to the AAA program which provides incentives to students for good grades.
“The goal is to decrease failing grades in the ninth grade by 8% from last year,” Williams stated. “The ninth grade move to the high school will be helpful from a counselors point of view. This should make it easier for the students to recognize that ninth grade is high school.”
Helper Junior High counselor James Dart explained that his goals are similar to Williams. “We need to highlight academic performance,” he said. “Failure rate is higher for boys than girls. The goal is to decrease this rate by 50% or more by finding reasons for grade failure and setting goals for improvement.”
The counselors all agreed that these plans may or may not increase the district’s graduation rate. However, it is a good start.