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Ohio County

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Ohio County graduation rates continue to rise

Updated: Monday, November 18 2013, 08:19 PM EST

By Jon Rudder

WHEELING, W. Va - The statewide
graduation rate for high school students in West Virginia hovers around 81 percent, according to the West Virginia Department of Education. However, Ohio County Schools' graduation rate sits 11 points above the average.

NEWS9 spoke with school officials on Monday about programs geared toward keeping those numbers on the rise.

For the past four years, t
he graduation rate for Ohio County Schools  has steadily increased, going up 18 points in total to where it currently sits at 92 percent. What's most important is how schools have gotten to that number --  they turned their attention to at-risk students and gave them the proper attention and tools to graduate.

The graduation rate measures students that enter ninth grade and graduate four years later.

"One of the things that we have found that's very helpful is identifying and working very closely with our at-risk students," Ohio County Schools guidance counselor Jen Kucera-Short said.

Each year, 
teachers and administrators sit down and identify students who may be in need of extra attention.

"Students who have a lot of attendance issues, a history of discipline,
are considered," Kucera-Short said. "We also will look at their grades to see where they are as far as their graduation requirements."

For those students identified, programs have been introduced to help them along the way.

"For students who are a completer in one of our career and technical programs, once they are completer, we work with them on passing all five sections of the GED," Kucera-Short said. "Once they pass the five sections of the GED and complete a career and technical program, they actually get their high school diploma."

The other option is for students lagging in one subject area -- they
can take the GED test for that subject, then be given credit for the class if they pass.

"We sit down with each student every year to make sure that they are on track with graduation, so we definitely are the one that know the status of our students and if they are in trouble with graduating with their cohort," Kucera-Short said

Ohio County graduation rates continue to rise

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