Local school officials get ready for statewide education summit

By: Rhiana Huckins Email
By: Rhiana Huckins Email

Both Dothan and Houston County school superintendents hope that the graduation summit will highlight some new ideas to lower drop out rates and raise the number of students who will attend college.

Alabama's high school drop out rate is at 40 percent and Governor Bob Riley would like to see that number drop.

America's promise alliance is supporting 100 drop-out summits over the next year, including one in Montgomery on Thursday.

The alliance is a foundation supporting the well being of America’s youth.

"By creating those partnerships with education entities in a community, businesses and faith based organizations all working together, can make a significant impact on the drop out rate in any community" says Dr. Sam Nichols, Superintendent of Dothan City School

This summit will also help with college preparation.

Outside organizations will be talking about ways they can help.

Superintendent Tim Pitchford of Houston County Schools will be attending the summit and already has spoken to faith based organizations about some ideas.

"They would provide enrichment and help with their homework and what ever their problem areas are in order to help their grades" says Pitchford.

Dr. Sam Nichols of Dothan City Schools is sending the director of secondary education and the school improvement specialist.

When they return, they will share the information they have learned to strengthen the school system.

"To raise our graduation rates, reduce the number of drop outs that we have in this community because it is a financial burden in the community when there is a high percentage of drop outs” says Nichols.

Graduation rates also help raise the AYP and school leaders say that is important.

"People are not going to move into a community or a city if the schools are poor and if you want Houston County to grow or Dothan to grow and have industry move in, first thing we need to do is improve our school system" says Pitchford.

Superintendents Pitchford and Nichols have recieved preliminary numbers for graduation rates this year, and they are up.

It is good news for them, but official numbers will not be given out until the state approves them.

News 4 will bring you up to date information details regarding the graduation summit.


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