Berrien School System makes the grade - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Berrien School System makes the grade

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August 2, 2007

Nashville - Its a goal that's been years in the making.  "Our graduation rate last year was at 57.5%. This year we saw a gain of approximately 20 points," says Superintendent Mike Bochenko.

And at 77%, its the highest graduation rate anyone working at the Berrien County School system can remember.

They attribute that success to their teachers and many programs they recently initiated, including adding a graduation coach to the staff.  "We did implement a graduation coach and we believe that had an impact. A lot of one on one," he adds.

But also to the students at Berrien High.  "You have to give some credit to the students. They are the ones that put the answers on the paper and do the testing."

And with school starting back up next week, teachers are now studying past scores to see how they can keep improving scores in the future.  "And a lot of times its trends. You can't look at one particular score but you look at trends and what happening with each group," says Donya Gillespie, Assistant Principal at Berrien High School.

They say those trends help them identify trouble spots for their students and allow teachers to focus on those areas. They hope these steps will help increase their graduation rate even more by the end of the year.

Berrien County is one of 19-school districts statewide that had 100 percent of their schools meet Adequate Yearly Progress for three or more years in a row.

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