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Graduation coaches help prevent drop outs

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WWAY reported last week, for the first time in years the number of high school students dropping out of school in North Carolina is declining. Monday, we look deeper into the cause and effect.

School districts in our area are seeing positive trends and that may be due to new methods to keep students on the right track.

Beth Scheirer considers herself a motivator. She works as a graduation coach at Laney High School, and is the first line of defense in keeping kids in school.

“I look at their attendance, I look at their behavior and I really do motivate. I just tell them everyday they can do it and if they need anything come see me,” Scheirer said.

Scheirer has an open door policy for more than 50 students at Laney who are at risk of dropping out.

Senior Jodi Knopf said her graduation coach kept her on the right track. “If I need anything, I can always ask her, she can go talk to people or help me with references.”

New Hanover, Pender and Columbus counties all have graduation coaches in high schools whose purpose is to jump in when a student is thinking of dropping out.

Some reasons for leaving school include academic problems, or attendance issues.

Scheirer said the tough task schools have is keeping students engaged. “Attendance is also showing that if there was something here that they were really into or someone they wanted to see everyday then they would come.”

Scheirer said she will continue to keep kids focused on their future so when they get older, they’ll have a positive reflection on their past.

In addition to graduation coaches, area school districts have implemented strategies like providing alternative learning programs, early college opportunities and offering online classes.

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Story summary

videoWWAY reported last week, for the first time in years the number of high school students dropping out of school in North Carolina is declining. Monday, we look deeper into the cause and effect.

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Associated poll

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