GISD tries to reduce high school drop out rate - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

GISD tries to reduce high school drop out rate

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FLINT (WJRT) - (05/01/14) - This time of year, many high school seniors are looking forward to graduation.

But for students who dropped out, they may never know the excitement and anticipation of graduation day.

The Genesee County graduation rate is a little below the statewide average of 77 percent.

One Flint teen faced problems that made her think about dropping out, but through sheer will power, she stuck it out.

Tianna Flick got seriously ill last fall. In fact, she missed several weeks of classes at Mott Middle College.

"They said 'you were diagnosed with sepsis. It's an illness that results in death,'" she said.

Faced with that discouraging diagnosis, Flick considered dropping out.

"It was hard for me to keep up with my school work," she said.

Kerry Moore, GISD counselor at Mott Middle College encouraged her to continue.

"Because I believed in her. I knew she could do it," she said.

So Flick pushed herself hard and maintained her 3.9 GPA.

Moore says she sees students facing obstacles all the time.

"They can do more than they think they can," she said.

Often, the problem is financial. Other times, family issues take their determination.

"These are good kids who have abilities who need some extra support," Moore said.

For those who give up, Moore is blunt.

"I tell them it's a dumb decision. It will hurt them in the long run," she said.

"Our schools are wrapping their arms around those students to make sure that they are on track for graduation," said Mary Behm, GISD assistant superintendent.

As for Flick," I'm graduating Saturday," she said.

The GISD says sometimes students need more than four years to get their diplomas.

They have programs to keep those teens in class and on track to graduate in five or six years if necessary.
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