LCHS Principal Guest Speaker at Rotary Club
by Bob Augustin Jr.
LCHS Principal Michael Adkins was the guest speaker at the August 6, 2010 meeting of the Lawrenceburg Rotary Club. Adkins said he was pleased to announce that the graduation rate at LCHS for the 2009-2010 school year was 90.5%, a substantial improvement over the previous year's rate of 79.9%.
Principal Adkins said in order to improve the graduation rate, they had to determine why the drop-out rate was so high. He said the problem was that they had failed to identify the potential drop-outs, that is, the students who were at risk. LCHS already had programs in place to assist the potential drop-outs, but all these programs were after school and the students who needed them couldn't always stay after school for a variety of reasons: they didn't have child care for their kids; they had to work because of financial necessity of their family; or they didn't have transportation home.
Adkins said the first thing they did was to move the programs during school hours and, in order to make the new program work, they had to get a buy-in from the students, their parents and the faculty and staff of LCHS. Teachers agreed to give up their free periods to meet with the at-risk students and assist them in the Credit Recovery Class. The Credit Recovery Class allows the students to make-up credits they need to graduate via self-directed computer classes. In addition, he asked the students to sign a written contract stating they attend their regular classes and the Credit Recovery Class in addition to other requirements. As a result of the changes, the at-risk students attendance rate went up, their demeanor improved, and their attitudes changed.
"Kids want to do well, they just don't always have an opportunity," Adkins stated. He also said he wanted to spruce up the graduation ceremoney itself and make it something meaningful to the graduates; something they would remember. To accomplish this, the graduates are now escorted into the gymnasion by drum and bagpipe corps. Adkins also asked the faculty to wear their caps and gowns and march in with the students and asked the staff of LCHS to participate in the procession.
Pictured above are, L to R: Rotary President Chris Williams, LCHS Princial Michael Adkins and Director of Schools Dr. Bill Heath.