A Wyoming School District Has An Idea To Improve Graduation Rates

Dec 23, 2019

Washakie County School District #1 recently presented its new approach of keeping students on track to graduate at the Wyoming School Board Association Annual Conference.

The Northwestern school board has adopted a new attendance policy. It all started with one conversation said Superintendent David Nicholas. He said the school board chair Don Bryant chatted with a kid who told him he was going to drop out.

"Then Don reengaged with that kid a few days later and just to make sure she was in school, and you know, later on Don was able to hand her diploma months later after she graduated," said Nicholas.

He said he realized it's about personal interaction with the student. At 10 absences, the student meets with him and at 15 absences the student attends a school board attendance meeting. That's where the student meets with the school board trustees.

"We're not using these trustees nearly enough. They can influence these kids and it's working. We're not saving every kid. We're saving more kids. We're doing this because we’ve been bad, and we're getting better," he said

Nicholas said the board trustees try to work with the student to make sure they can go to school and graduate. Nicholas said this personal approach has already helped several students graduate and he hopes this trend will continue.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Kamila Kudelska, at kkudelsk@uwyo.edu.