School Dropout Rates Much Lower This Year - News, Sports and Weather

School Dropout Rates Much Lower This Year

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First Interstate Bank, the United Way and the Great Falls Public School system set up the traveling desk display. Since its conception, the graduation matters program has been working on lowering the dropout rate based on a 4 structure system.

"To help us strategically approach improving educational outcomes, obviously the school quadrant is critical and really have to give credit to the schools over the last three years" says local United Way President, Gary Owens.

To demonstrate the 112 students who have dropped out of school a display of 112 desks were placed outside the First Interstate Bank building.

"We are very pleased about it, it represents the combined efforts not just the united way but various business and parent and community entities. It really speaks well for what a group of people working together can do," explains school board member, Mary Sheehy Moe.

On top of the Graduation Matters program the Great Falls Public Schools are making efforts to lower the rate even further, stating one student dropping out is one too many.

"Well there are measures that we are looking for the 3rd grade reading level is a very important one; the transition from middle school to high school is really an important time. It's looking at their attendance and looking at people who are at risk of dropping out because once you start on that path of not attending it's really hard to get back into the groove," says Moe.

Attached to each desks is a short story behind the students drop out reasons.

"We're proud that these efforts have contributed to this very positive trend in the dropout rate but I would echo what Tammy said, those 112 desks out there represent kids that now have dropped out of school and their future is not as bright as it should be. They all have their stories and they all have issues that have caused them to make this decision but we want to continue that work to see that number decline," says Owens.

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