New Flagler Schools program to promote high school graduation
A new Flagler Schools program to help increase the high school graduation rate was proposed at the June 20 School Board workshop.
The Graduate 100 Committee, established after School Board member Colleen Conklin requested research into this matter on Jan. 5, 2016, surveyed 97 Flagler County high school students who are at risk for not graduating, and 25 adult school students who left Flagler County Schools without earning a diploma. The goal was to better understand how and why some students slip through the cracks, as well as to generate practical solutions to reach the goal of a 100% graduation rate.
Dr. Kimberli Halliday, the committee chairwoman, brought the results of the anonymous surveys to the School Board during the workshop on June 20. From this data, the committee identified common needs of struggling students:
- Connections with adults in educational settings
- Individualized learning plans
- Flexible schedule/time
- Creating goals/meeting goals
- Linkage to Employment/Career Opportunities
- Learning experiences with relevance to adult living
The School Board encouraged the committee to be ambitious in starting to implement the proposed solutions as soon as possible — even as early as the start of the school year in August.
The vision is to have a designated teacher for both Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast high schools to be the hands-on, go-to individual for struggling students to use as a resource. While programs like Road To Success are available for students once they’ve already left Flagler Schools to pursue their GEDs, Kimberli Halliday wants to help these students before they get to that point, and that's the goal of the new program, which is still unnamed.
“These are proposals,” Kimberli Halliday said. “The board has to do something, and the administrative teams are going to have to be a part of all of this. We’re just saying we want someone who can get as jacked up as we are and as excited as us in making sure these kids are excited and have a drive.”