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Over the past three school years, Weatherford High School has seen an upward trend in the number of high school students who “complete” high school. In fact, these numbers have gone from “academically unacceptable to above 95 percent in all WHS student groups and our Completion 1 Rate is now at an Exemplary level.
The work of the WHS administrative team is complemented by staff members who have gone above and beyond to locate students who were not enrolled in school. In some cases, students had been “missing in action” for 2-3 years.
Amy Rankin has worked with Student Services and with the attendance clerks to locate students who have not re-enrolled in school following a withdrawal. She has found some students enrolled at other school districts under different ID numbers, names misspelled, etc. Amy knows and understands the science of PEIMS and is willing to share her expertise willingly and cheerfully. No longer is it “OK” for a student to be a “no show” in Weatherford ISD. Amy ensures that each withdrawal is coded perfectly so that all students can be appropriately accounted for.
Alma Nichols, the WHS attendance clerk, has also taken the initiative to locate students who are not enrolled in school. Alma is able to strike that delicate balance between upholding attendance rules and regulations and listening to our students and their parents. Using this attribute, she cleared at least 112 “no shows” from the WHS list during the first month of this school year.
Aileen Akbar, WHS parent liaison, understands the role education plays in the lives of the school’s English Language Learners. Her knowledge about how to navigate the public education system in Texas has led to countless conversations with students about the importance of finishing high school. One quick example: In September Aileen tracked down a student who needed to pass a section of the TAKS test. She continued conversations with the student even though the student was out of the country making sure the student was informed about the next TAKS session.
Pam Freeman, in particular, has a unique communication style that draws students and their parents to listen to her about the value of education. She knows enough people in the city to make connections until she locates dropouts on their jobs or “elsewhere” and, in some cases, she connects new mothers with needed daycare resources or with prospective employers. She is a kid magnet who can communicate the realities of life without an education in a way that they understand. Pam can – at any moment – tell you the number of students in the PASS program who are going to graduate. She is an unsung hero who has inspired students who are facing unusual challenges to come back to WHS and be a part of the PASS program.