Published Aug. 27, 2013
By The Tri-City Herald
A high school diploma means a lot, but most students don't realize that until after they've dropped out of school.
That's when reality hits and they find out how many doors are closed to them because they didn't finish high school.
In the past, these teens likely would disappear from the system and struggle on.
That's not an acceptable scenario.
school officials are realizing there needs to be a more concerted
effort to bring these students back to school and help them succeed.
"We Want You Back" is an amazing program that lets young people know
there are ways for them to get their high school diploma and go on with
The key is letting them know someone cares, that they haven't been forgotten and there is a second chance.
students are tracked down and contacted directly. Volunteers from the
Kennewick School District visit them in their homes and encourage them
to try again.
That conversation can change a person's life.
high school dropouts end up feeling detached from their school and
community, and even if they want to return to school again, they don't
know how or where to start.
Once they leave, it's typical to feel
like nobody cared or noticed that they were gone. Having people knock
on their doors and ask about them lets them know that people really do
believe in them and want to help.
The Kennewick program is
designed for students who are at least 18 years old, but still young
enough that they could fit in at a traditional or alternative high
For those who just don't want to do high school over
again, there is the option of enrolling at the Columbia Basin College
High School Academy.
This is designed specifically for students
ages 16 to 20 who have dropped out of their home high school or are at
risk of dropping out. It's high school on the college campus, and it's a
great alternative for students who might be too embarrassed to return
to their home high school or who need a smaller environment to succeed.
a lot of students, they are only a few classes short of getting their
high school diploma. After 12 years in school, it's a shame when they
give up so close to the finish line.
Schools should still focus on dropout prevention, but dropout recovery is just as important.
It's great the Kennewick School District has figured this out and is making the effort to help students return to school.
Watch out: School in session
Speaking of school ... it starts up again this week in the Tri-Cities.
in Kennewick and Finley will be heading back to the classroom today,
while those in Richland, Pasco and Benton City will begin Wednesday.
That means people should be more aware of school zones, kids on bikes and teen drivers.
also the occasional horsing around at school bus stops, so keep an eye
out. Those sidewalks will be pretty busy in the morning and afternoon.
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