Clovis High School’s graduation rate for the 2009-2010 school year jumped to 82.9 percent, more than 15 percent higher than the state graduation average.
CHS’s rate increased 9.2 percent from 74.3 percent the previous year.
Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Terry Myers said the district is pleased with the graduation rate reaching into the 80th percentile.
“It took a refocusing on making sure we’re finding kids attendance-wise. We’re not just writing them off when they don’t show up for class,” Myers said.
Myers said when he was hired last year, the board of education wanted him to look at the graduation rate.
“We have an emphasis on academics. We’re making sure every student is given an opportunity to graduate,” Myers said.
Myers said the district is already looking toward maintaining and improving the graduation rate.
Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Cindy Martin said the graduation rate is something districts are always looking to improve on.
“The last two years we’ve really put an emphasis on tracking kids down who suddenly quit coming to school,” Martin said.
She said the district employs family services specialists who go to the home to find students and have a conversation with them about making a plan that ends with them graduating.
Martin said plans can include credit recovery courses, Choices Alternative School or helping the student find a way to school more regularly.
Martin said individualized attention for 1,300 Clovis High School students can be difficult, but is always worth it.
“We just had to do better identifying those kids in need and making sure they make it through school,” Martin said.
Martin said partnerships with programs such as Gear Up, Upward Bound and Trio have contributed to the increase in the graduation rate.
“There are others out there helping us find those kids and keep them in school,” she said. “Everybody has to be on this from all different angles.”
Martin said teachers have also worked toward making school a place students want to be by making school fun, exciting and interactive.
“I think when kids realize the teachers truly care about them as a person, they want to see them graduate, they want to see them succeed, sometimes that’s all a young person needs,” Martin said. “That relationship piece.”