County sets its cap for more graduates

naustin@modbee.comSeptember 21, 2013 

— The Stanislaus County Office of Education has set its cap on graduations this year, hoping to keep young adults in school and help those who dropped out but want back in.

“Our current graduation rate of 78percent is not good enough. We can do better,” said Stanislaus Superintendent Tom Changnon.

His office will launch Destination Graduation, a collaborative project with community groups, at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the lobby of the Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St. in downtown Modesto.

The launch will include outreach efforts already underway, including mentoring programs, summer camps and parent involvement programs.

The county’s new charter school for young adults, Come Back Kids, will be featured. The program reaches out to young adults, ages 16 to 23, who dropped out but have decided to return to school and work toward a high school diploma. A few students currently enrolled in Come Back Kids will also say a few words.

Marc Johnson, National Superintendent of the Year in 2011 who retired as superintendent from Sanger Unified School District this year, will be on hand to help kick off Stanislaus County’s new initiative. Johnson implemented innovative efforts in the Sanger District that dramatically improved their graduation statistics.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at naustin@modbee.com or (209) 578-2339. Follow her on Twitter @NanAustin.

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