Officials with Clinton City Schools are working hard to lower the system’s dropout rate and according to a presentation made during this week’s work session, those efforts are proving to work.
According to Clinton City Schools superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount, CCS has the sixth lowest dropout rate of all 115 school districts in the state of North Carolina. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Louie Boykin, Blount said less kids are dropping out of school and earning diplomas.
Boykin, who serves as Clinton High Schools dropout prevention coordinator and mentor of the 22-credit program, said he and CHS principal Dr. Steve Miller are working hard to give students an alternative to dropping out. Unfortunately, for many students, a traditional school schedule doesn’t allow the student to come to school and as a result, they drop out.
Students who are part of the program qualify as a result of attendance problems, drug or alcohol issues or chronic behavior incidents, all which put a student at a higher risk for dropping out. Currently, there are 18 students being serviced through the program, all but one who are classified as seniors. There is one sophomore in the program.
“He’s in it because it gives him hope,” Boykin said. “These students are excited about graduating.”
Boykin shared with board members the story of a student who recently entered the program.
“He quit school two weeks ago to work,” Boykin shared. “We worked it out for him to come to school for two blocks, getting him math and English, and he is still able to work.”
Since the program’s inception in 2011, Boykin said 80 students have graduated and gone into either the next level of education of the workforce. Diploma’s earned through the 22-credit program qualify for community college acceptance, military of the workforce.
“This program has really been a success,” Boykin said. “There are some kids who don’t want to come to school and the 22-credit program gives them a chance. It gives them hope.”
Students are required to take 16 core courses and according to Boykin, take all their classes in the regular classroom setting.
“They blend in,” Boykin added. “Most people don’t know the student is in the program.”
One board member expressed gratitude for Boykin’s determination to keep kids in school.
“I commend you and the staff for helping keep these kids off the street and reducing the dropout rate,” Clinton City Board of Education member E.R. Mason said.
According to Miller, Boykin makes many trips and attempts to keep students in school or bring them back to school.
“Rev. Boykin goes out into a lot of situations and gets these students,” Miller shared.
Graduates of the program participate in all the events for seniors and walk during the June graduation ceremony.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.