Last week, the 2012 Cape Girardeau School District graduation rate information was released. I am proud to announce that the four-year graduation rate increased over 13 percent.
This improvement was not an accident. This accomplishment is a result of the diligence of teachers, counselors, administrators, parent liaisons and strong support of the board of education. It is the result of focused programs and interventions K-12 that have helped students stay in school and be successful. The freshmen success initiative, started over four years ago at Central High School to keep students on track for graduation, is one example. The Alternative Education Center, the Juvenile Assessment Center and the Missouri Options Program are additional examples of programs focused on improving the graduation rate. Furthermore, this summer we began implementing professional learning communities districtwide. I believe this will have a major impact on student performance, including graduation rate.
I commend the efforts of our staff for their hard work. I also commend the efforts of the United Way for their support in this area. While we need to celebrate our graduation rate improvement, we must also realize that there is still much work to be done. Our goal is to have all students graduate and be college- and career-ready.
JIM WELKER, superintendent, Cape Girardeau
Public Schools, Cape Girardeau