PLAINVILLE - The Plainville school system’s graduation rate has increased recently, possibly signaling a reverse in the slight downward trend in the past five years.
The State Department of Education recently released the graduation numbers for the Plainville school system and other local towns, indicating that Plainville’s graduation rate had decreased by 0.3 percent from the 2011 to 2012 school year to the 2015 to 2016 school year. However, the 2015 to 2016 school year did see a significant increase from the 89.8 percent the previous year to 93.4 percent.
Roberto Medic, Principal at Plainville High School since April of last year, said that he his goal is to sustain and increase the upward trending graduation numbers.
“One of the things that the previous high school administration built was a strong focus on providing students with an experience here that keeps them focused not only on their academics but also college and career readiness,” said Medic. “We have also been able to take students who were not on a typical academic track and bring them into areas where they see a real-world connection to what they are learning. The school as a whole has continued to provide good support and intervention programs for students that are on the cusp. Our teachers have really banded together to keep students from slipping through the cracks.”
Superintendent of Schools Maureen Brummett said that a “variety of factors” contribute to the increased graduation rates.
“We have really strong high school teachers who make sure students stay on target for graduation and work with their counselors to set goals in our college and career center,” she said. “We have knowledgeable guidance councilors and a solid special education department and we work to ensure that all kids that can graduate in four years do so. When a student needs something different we look for options to help create a path to success for them. The state has also become fairer to districts because they are no longer penalizing districts for special needs kids that may take more time to graduate. Some special needs students stay until they are 21 but for other students we have credit recovery options including online classes and work study. In addition to these supports we also have good extracurricular activities. Our kids want to come to school and do well.”
Andrea Saunders, chair of the Plainville Board of Education, said that the district has made a strong effort to keep kids in school.
“We have a lot of sports and after school activities,” she said. “Our theater and band programs go above and beyond and we also have very good STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs as well as technical arts and industrial arts. Kids are staying in school and getting the skills that they need for their careers. There used to be an attitude that you could drop out and get a good paying job but that isn’t the case anymore.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.