October 20, 2017
Three Wakulla County public school students are the first to complete the new “Impact” program, putting them in place to graduate from high school with their cohort, which is the group they started kindergarten with.
Reasons why some students get out of sync to graduate from high school with their peers are as individual as the students themselves. But most have one thing in common: they really want to graduate on time.
The first three students have recently completed the “Impact” program. Aden Curles is heading back to Wakulla High School as a senior, and Braden Foor and Mackenzie Pullam are starting at WHS as freshmen this month.
Under the direction of Chief Academic Officer Sunny Chancy and the support of Superintendent Bobby Pearce, Wakulla County School District is seeing the first results of the “Impact” program that was initiated last school year.
Says Superintendent Pearce, “We see this as a plan for students to make up for disruptions in their progress towards on-time graduation. When students feel like they have hope of catching up, it usually inspires them to work harder. Our job is to create that chance for them.”
It is one of several alternative programs that are located in Crawfordville at the District Office site, such as the district’s virtual school. All these programs fall under The Wakulla Institute school title where James Vernon serves as Dean of Student Services.
“We celebrate our completers on the day they become eligible to return to their zoned school,” notes Vernon. “Everything is in place beforehand. I accompany them to an appointment with their WHS advisor to set up their schedule, and a student guide makes them feel at home. We have monitored them carefully in their classes at ‘Impact’ to make sure they have the opportunity to transition to WHS successfully.”
Associate Dean Daniel Lilly, formerly a student advisor at WHS, now works with the “Impact” program. His expertise with counseling and scheduling help set students up for success, such as making sure they take the correct classes to meet prerequisites to pursue their career goals.
“Impact” is not held at a traditional school site so that students can concentrate on catching up without other distractions.
States Chancy, “This is a voluntary program for students in grades 6 through 12 who need to boost their grade point averages and/or earn credits to graduate on time. Student cases are reviewed with parental involvement and school-level input.”
She adds, “This an opportunity for students who really want to put the work into getting back on track. It’s important to let our children know we believe that even if the paths they take to get there are different, every one of our students can graduate.”