Four-year graduation rate outpaces area rivals

WF tops 90 percent for first time


Camille Knecht, Photography Co-editor

Out of the three high schools in the district, ours has the highest four-year graduation rate at 94.1 percent, an increase from the 85.2 percent just two years prior.

“It means that we are meeting our goals. It also means that everybody is working together to collaborate to get the students graduated,” Principal Patti Hamler said. “It takes more than just the counselor, just the teacher. It takes all the teachers in the building to get the student through. It lets me know that it was a group effort to get everyone through to graduate.”
Hamler isn’t the only administrator who recognized the increase.

“I think it’s awesome. That’s one of my goals; to get kids to graduate. I think we should do everything we can to get every kid to graduate. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen, but I think it’s really good that we are getting closer to 100 percent,” Assistant Principle Patty Edwards said.

Not only did this accomplishment distinguish our school from others, it is also precedent setting. According to Hamler, it is the highest graduation rate we have ever had.

“You can’t wait until they are a senior to start making sure they get what they need to graduate. You have to do it as a freshman,” Hamler said.

There are also a number of programs available for students to take advantage of even before they join the Cougars.

“The class of 2020, you are monitoring them all along now. You are making sure that they get what they need,” Hamler said.
The administration works in various groups to ensure that the goal is not only met, but exceeded.
Our school has intervention plans to work with students who are struggling. Extra counselors are also available, along with an intervention coordinator and a graduation committee that meets every Friday morning.

“The intervention team meets weekly, so we know who they are and we watch their grades,” Hamler said. “For instance, one teacher might have 20 kids that failed, and most teachers don’t have that many, so I’m going to want to know why that teacher had 20 kids that failed because that is unusually high.”

The school offers a fifth period to allow students to take a class online for a class that they previously failed. Summer school also offers more chances for credit recovery.

Hamler said. “I don’t think it matters who you are or what nationality you are. Ultimately, everybody knows that that diploma is the one thing that you need to be successful. It’s something that everybody values. It’s just a matter of if you are disciplined enough to get there, and that is one of the things that we have to make sure we motivate and encourage.”