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News, Parkdale News

Are 2018 seniors ready to graduate?

Parkdale administration has set a graduating goal, based on last year’s graduation rate, of about 80 percent.

According to last year’s graduation statistics, 450 out of 512 seniors graduated, which equates to  roughly 77.5 percent of the senior class.

Administration, with influence from the county, is taking initiative to increase this percent for this year’s graduating class.

“The county set a goal for us to increase our rate by 3 percent each school year,,” said twelfth grade administrator Dr.  Hollis.

The goals allow school administration to help students to either meet or beat expectations set by the county.

Aside from setting goals for the senior class to reach, the bulk of the work is determined throughout students’ entire high school career.

The outstanding  accomplishment of surpassing the graduation goal relies on how many seniors have been on track in meeting all of their graduation requirements. These requirements consist of having to complete at least 24 service hours, participating in and/or passing all required standardized testing, and acquiring 21 core course credits.

From the beginning of their freshman year, all the work done by students affects them in the long run. For example, if a sophomore fails Algebra 1 then it is part of that student’s obligation to earn that credit to graduate. This may require the student to take night school or summer school, especially since the PGCPS Credit Recovery program is no longer an option.

In other cases, seniors who are not on track to graduate are either missing community service hours or they have not taken one of the standardized tests.

To aid in reaching the set graduation goal, multiple Parkdale faculty, such as coordinators, class counselors, and teachers  are doing all they can to help students make it to May 31st.

Many of them “…had many conferences with individual students and parents to ascertain issues which may need addressing for struggling students,” said Dr. Ronald Hollis.

Administration also proposes other forms of engagement  for students, such as class assemblies that spread information about expectations and requirements, parent information nights where parents are informed and updated on expectations, and also senior contracts.

Senior contracts are meant for both seniors and parents to look over what requirements have been met and what needs to be done to successfully walk across the stage on May 31st.

For the seniors that have to either take night classes, get a couple more service hours, or even sit down for a test, 2018 SGA class historian Norsha Rankine advises to “just do what you have to do to graduate.”

She, too, understands what it is like to balance all of her classes, extracurricular activities, social life, and the graduation requirements. But in her opinion, Parkdale students could be expected to do much more.

Rankine strongly believes that the graduation requirements are “…too minimum of a requirement.”

Dr. Hollis strongly agrees.

“The requirements should be raised in order to better prepare students for the world after high school,” he said.

Parkdale’s 2018 graduating class will be holding the graduation ceremony at the Xfinity Center on May 31st.