by Joe Warn, reporter for The Forest Fire
WAKE FOREST — We dominate in football, have an award winning student section, a very accomplished JROTC program, but how does Wake Forest place among other schools with our four-year graduation rate?
Wake Forest places above the county’s average graduation rate of 81 percent with an 86 percent graduation rate.
In comparison to local schools, Heritage and wakefield, Wake Forest has a slightly higher graduation rate than Wakefield (85 percent) but a lower rate than Heritage (89 percent). Within Wake County, the two schools who have the highest rate are Green Hope and Panther Creek (95 percent each).
Every year, the faculty must take the steps necessary in order to see improvement in the school’s graduation rate.
“We have looked at all the data and shared it among the staff. Counselors have met and looked at all our students and have tracked when they’re supposed to graduate and made sure they follow that track through scheduling. Meeting with counselors and groups and making sure all student’ schedules meet with their specific needs,” Principal Patti Hamler said.
Counselors also have a plan in place.
“To make sure students graduate in four years, we set up four-year plans, discuss career interests with the students to see what can be done with classes to get these students to their possible career goals, emphasize community service so the appeal to colleges, and make sure we can do all we can so that students can not only be good students but also active citizens,” Counselor David Ruggiero said.
Student services must also watch those student who intend to simply drop out.
“A lot of the times, when students drop out, we do not know until they have actually dropped out.
“For those who are on the fence with dropping out, we immediately make contact with them and sit down with them to understand what is really going on. You would be surprised at some of the reasons given and for the most part, the student feels like dropping out is their only option.
“So it is our job to understand the need and then offer options and resources available to them” Dean of Students Kadeidra Carr said.
“Sometimes those resources consist of resources right here in our building, and at other times, we may need to refer tout and use outside resources. It all depends on the individual and the needs of that individual. But as a department, we intervene when we are privy to the information.
“Community is the key,” she added.
—This article originally ran in the Nov. 21 edition of The Forest Fire. Reprinted with permission.