Archived Story

Schools are motivating students to succeed

Published 10:36pm Saturday, November 30, 2013

Don Phipps, Beaufort County Schools superintendent, made an interesting comment at Monday’s school board meeting.
He said a student who drops out of school at 16 years old makes the decision to drop out long before that.
Identifying the “why” and “when” of that decision would go a long way in carving out a school system that works for every student enrolled. But, BCS is already on the right track and it doesn’t take drop out rates to prove it.
Phipps has said on many occasions that the success of the district is based on more than just the number of students who continue on to a four-year college.
Last week’s agriculture expo was a prime example of how BCS has become a district concerned with the future success of all students, not just the future doctors, lawyers and teachers. In one afternoon, students heard from colleges, farm bureau reps, law enforcement, electricians and many others.
The district has also worked closely with Beaufort County Community College to develop programs that will earn students certifications for manufacturing and welding jobs.
Board member Terry Williams asked that Phipps look into why other school districts have chosen to change the age students are allowed to drop out of school from 16 years old to 18 years old.
Board member Mike Isbell said changing the age appeared to be a way for districts to skew drop out rates. Students aren’t dropping out because they can’t.
A higher drop-out age is something worth exploring, for more reasons than a jump in stats.
Thankfully, those in charge of this district have embraced proactive approaches to getting the drop-out statistics they seek.

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