West Charlotte High School saw the largest rise in its graduation rate this year of any CMS school. It went from 56 percent last year to 71 percent this year. West Charlotte Assistant Principal Timisha Barnes-Jones says teachers and counselors worked hard at getting kids into programs to make sure they got the credits they needed to graduate on time.
“We did implement an extended learning program for credit recovery and credit accrual that added an additional 20,000 minutes, beyond the school day and beyond the regular school week,” says Barnes-Jones. “We were available to students on Saturdays. We had over 300 credits that were recovered.”
West Charlotte still has the lowest graduation rate in the district. The district average is 81 percent.
This year’s CMS senior class was the first to graduate with a lower credit requirement. Students only needed 24 credits to graduate, compared with 28 in previous years. CMS officials say they don’t know how much that accounted for a rise in graduation rates across the district.
West Charlotte is part of an initiative called Project LIFT, which aims to boost the graduation rate at the school to 90 percent over the next four years.