Dropout rate improving - Williston Herald - Online Edition by wuyunqing

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                                       <h1>
                                 Dropout rate improving
                                 <div>WHS graduation rate still below state
average</div>
                         </h1>

                                      <p class="credits">
                                      By Lynne Napton<br />Williston
Herald<br>
                                            Published/Last Modified on
Thursday, January 20, 2011 10:44 AM CST
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<em>Statewide the number of students dropping out of school has
decreased. Williston High School's graduation rate has been lower than
the state average for the past several years.
Lynne Napton | Williston Herald
</em>

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                             The number of high school dropouts in North
Dakota has taken a turn for the better.<BR /><BR />After three straight
years of dropout numbers near 780 students, last school year saw 701
dropouts in grades 9 through 12. The statistics are calculated by the
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.<BR /><BR />In Williston
Public School District No. 1, school officials said the dropout rate is
improving, but is still behind the state average.<BR /><BR />"This
reduction in our dropout rate is an important step," said North Dakota
Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who facilitated the Dropout Prevention Summit
Group's strategic planning. "We will continue to work hard to identify
the policies and programs that can further reduce the number of our
students who drop out of high school."<BR /><BR />The encouraging numbers
come on the heels of North Dakota's first ever Dropout Prevention Summit
held in June of 2009.

                                  Summit Coordinator and North Dakota
Education Association Vice President Mark Berntson said much of the
credit belongs to the caring adults in North Dakota's schools.<BR /><BR
/>"The teachers, counselors, administrators, social workers and other
adults who find ways every day to help kids succeed are the main reason
we're seeing such improvement. Hundreds of these great people have
attended dropout summits and have shared their practices, thoughts, ideas
and concerns. We've all left the summits inspired and ready to do what's
best for North Dakota's students," said Berntson.<BR /><BR />In providing
the data, State Superintendent Dr. Wayne G. Sanstead said, "While the
data clearly shows marked improvement, we are dedicated to continue our
efforts with state and local school partners to expand alternative
education programs and promote quality instruction, centered on keeping
at risk students in school."<BR /><BR />Getting better in
Williston<BR /><BR />Although the state average dropout rate is
improving, Williston's graduation rate has been lower than the state
average for several years. For the 2009-2010 school year, the high school
graduation rate in Williston was 72.93 percent. As a comparison, Mandan
High School's graduation rate was 88 percent. However, the graduation
rate in Williston is slowly increasing.<BR /><BR />Williston Public
School District No. 1 Superintendent Viola LaFontaine said "I think our
dropout numbers have dropped too."<BR /><BR />She credits this
improvement to the opening of the alternative high school.<BR /><BR />In
January 2010, the Williston Public School District No. 1 opened the Del
Easton Alternative School to offer another choice to students who are
struggling or who have already dropped out of the high school.<BR /><BR
/>The first year saw three students graduate from the alternative high
school, and there are currently 22 students enrolled.<BR /><BR />The
Third Annual North Dakota Dropout Prevention Summit is scheduled for June
8 and 9, 2011 at Bismarck State College. The summit will place a special
emphasis on bullying prevention. The summit is a joint venture of the
North Dakota School Boards Association, the North Dakota Council of
Education Leaders, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, the
North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission and the North Dakota Education
Association.
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                       <p class="copyright">Copyright &copy; 2011
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                            <div id="comments" class="section">

                            <h2><span>Comments</span></h2>

                                  <div class="inner">

                                        <ul>
                                              <a
name="blogcomments"></a><div class="simpleblog-results"><div
class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="eaac8d3a9ca149f37bee19d5e93ff202"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">teen suicide</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 29, 2011 7:35 AM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; Someone made a comment on teen
suicide. I think this backs up the fact that we coddle our children too
much. Kids get bullied and made fun of. It makes people stronger.
Perhaps this teen suicide thing is just a little bit of Darwinism at
work. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="a15453a65bd95507bee81690ff30fae7"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">quitters and losers</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 29, 2011 7:33 AM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; i have hired and worked with quit a
few drops outs. the fact is a good majority of them are quitters and
losers. finishing something you start has a great deal to do with life.
you will never succeed if you don't complete the things you start. those
who don't succeed are failures and another turn for failure is loser.<br
/><br />there are successful business men out there who have dropped out,
but they are and far between. you will find many more successful people
who have completed high school and gone onto college then successful drop
outs. <br /><br />the losers i have worked with stick around for two or
three months and then float off to another job. could you imagine a life
of quitting one job after another. a life of having up to eight different
jobs per year. that's the caliber of person i have worked with who have
been drop outs. <br /><br />you will not convince me that a great
majority of dropouts will not become worthless adults who are burdens on
our society. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="c035ee8b5c014801788b289b0e55c8a9"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">HRH</span> wrote on <span class="simpleblog-
date">Jan 28, 2011 7:24 PM:</span><div class="simpleblog-response">&quot;
To Simon: <br /><br />&quot;...if a kid thinks he can drop out of high
school and have a wonderful life and work anything better than manager at
a fast food restaurant, good luck. Probably not going to happen, but good
luck trying.&quot;<br /><br />I know several people who have wonderful
lives, who have successful businesses, who are productive citizens, and
yes, they dropped out of high school. Maybe school wasn't a good fit for
them. I also know people who did well during their high school lives who
had trouble after graduation. Perhaps real life wasn't so easy for them.
<br /><br />People do what they have to do: parents are the most
important influence, but the buck stops at each individual himself.
&quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="6c1cf68fa77912638b450e62642acfda"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">former teacher</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 28, 2011 2:07 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; Disrespectful students and parents who
think their kids do no wrong and it's the school's fault all the time, is
the main reason I got out of teaching for a different profession. It's
sad the bad ones ruin it for the good kids and parents out there.
&quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="e6a9406e95aa8db831d4c05bfbaeba64"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">Simon</span> wrote on <span class="simpleblog-
date">Jan 27, 2011 3:07 PM:</span><div class="simpleblog-response">&quot;
Last I saw th national average dropout rate is actually, believe it or
not, right around 30 percent, so although it's a terrible thing, don't go
too crazy people. Also, if a kid thinks he can drop out of high school
and have a wonderful life and work anything better than manager at a fast
food restaurant, good luck. Probably not going to happen, but good luck
trying. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="b1078356da8165bfa6e3ee826b8453d9"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">Disregard no no amazed</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 27, 2011 12:07 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; Oops sorry amazed, I read your post
wrong. That is what you are saying. I'm sorry! &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="2575f56f14f86231d1ffe5ce719dfb6f"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">No no amazed</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 27, 2011 12:04 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; Amazed, youou have it completely
backwards! That should all start at HOME not school. A PARENT is a
child's first teacher. Schools try to enforce those values, it is not
their job to teach them!!! &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="e4fac755542b054c7c888f49968cc972"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">ignoringthehaters</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 27, 2011 10:52 AM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; Here's a thought, rather than try to
find someone to blame, ask yourself what YOU can do to make improvements.
&quot;Open your eyes&quot; you really need to take some responsibility.
What kind of message are you sending your kids; that it's always
someone's fault, but never yours, that's it's ok to quit. And I'm sorry,
but I am privy to what goes on in the high school and no one tells a kid
to quit, that is completely ludicrous along with most of your
claims/accusations. Getting your high school diploma is not the end-all
be-all to your existence, it's what you do after high school when you
enter the &quot;real world&quot;. And some of you are right, some kids
just hate school. Maybe they get picked on a lot, or maybe, just maybe,
it's because we actually have rules that we expect them to follow. If
they have no rules at home, then they expect no to have rules anywhere. A
wise person once said, &quot;let he who be without sin cast the first
stone.&quot; I'm waiting &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="68a66770c46f025fbfe9132f2e54dab2"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">amazed</span> wrote on <span class="simpleblog-
date">Jan 26, 2011 7:30 PM:</span><div class="simpleblog-response">&quot;
People who are not in the field of education need to open their eyes and
get a clue. I am not sure of many students who love school, like every
teacher, can't wait for the next assignment or test, but does that mean
we are failing and students should drop out? Discipline is what we have
lost, I think it starts in the home. Kids these days feel so entitled to
everything, and the first time they fail at something they are
devestated. We need to change the culture of schools and instill work
ethic, attitude, discipline, accountability. We should be preparing
students for the real world where we need to do things even if we do not
like to, work with people we do not like, and be a productive, respectful
member of society. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="5f770201abfb1638891e52c287c12270"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">WHS Parent</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 26, 2011 7:02 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; I'm sorry but the, &quot;I hate
school&quot; excuse doesn't wash with me. If we allowed every kid to
drop out because they hated school, we'd be in huge trouble. I agree
that regular high school isn't a good setting for a few, and an
alternative high school is an option. We all have to do things we don't
like to do at one time or another in our lives. We deal with it. Life
isn't always a bowl of cherries. How is this generation going to learn
that? They aren't and it's completely evident in our
society/schools/workforce today. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="c858f534b8f9c47886983dc46dc88af4"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">swimn upstream</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 26, 2011 3:14 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; To open your eyes,<br />To be polite
as possible, <br />You are terribly misinformed. Amazingly misinformed.
Perhaps you need to open your eyes. I am amazed at your perception.
&quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="59b321d178f851afc6e8e272e0756a6b"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">Uncalled for....</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 26, 2011 12:53 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; Calling these Kids a quitter is not
accomplishing ANYTHING. Other than how to be so negative...I come from a
family of 9 two of us dropped out of High School our SENIOR year.. I am
one of those &quot;Quitters&quot; and so is my sister if you enjoy
calling us Dropouts that. We went back and got our G.E.D and have
continued to further our educations and go on into College. No I am not
dropping out of College. just because you drop out does not mean you are
a quitter or anyless of achild/young adult then any of the rest of us.
Until you are a parent of a high school dropout or a dropout yourself you
have no room to judge anybody. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="e708f689b4fe24ee5a4bf2148d34c856"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">drop out rate</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 26, 2011 12:44 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; My daughter had straight A's for her
first three years of high school but she absolutely hated school. She is
attending the alternative high school and absolutely loves school. SO, to
the previous remarks regarding no student would drop out unless they were
flunking is false. Some kids don't like school. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="ea9f7c909b34bb7c8f5ebf17172b3a9f"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">ignorance is bliss</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 26, 2011 12:24 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; Ignorance is bliss. Being a quitter
because you drop out? Wow, you must still have the first job you got
while in high school,cause otherwise your a quitter right? You never know
that person could have went on to higher education(college) just because
WHS had nothing to offer them and they dropped out,they are quitter?Very
judgmental of drop outs aren't we. Only
bad,stupid,struggling,pregnant,problem children drop out because they are
losers and a quitters. We should all have high standards for our children
and families I agree. But we should also understand that some
circumstances happen and things can change, but we don't hate, call names
or JUDGE people for there decisions, we love and try to lead them in the
right direction, and hope that they make the right decisions. I sure hope
your children live up to all of your expectations and never disappoint
you, cause with some attitudes we will have a higher suicide rate,because
these kids will feel like such a disappointment that they don't live up
to your expectations. SAD!! &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="a4e7cc3af5e7d314adc27cc250f44f37"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">Whatever</span> wrote on <span class="simpleblog-
date">Jan 26, 2011 12:03 PM:</span><div class="simpleblog-
response">&quot; Thank you, open your eyes. ...Stop making ridiculous
excuses. I don't care what you say they are telling them (I have a high
school student and he has never been told that) you are the parent and
you failed your child, not the school!!! &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="553c3ffcc19d4c2015d5acb2c35e6c1c"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">some more numbers</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 26, 2011 7:42 AM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; I would also like to know what the
teen pregnancy rate is? &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="a6e280534e973c7dbdc9a67cb2697458"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">to whatever</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 26, 2011 7:41 AM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; bravo!! &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="0c7bcd09d32ecb5717881a957560fea7"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">to open your eyes</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 26, 2011 7:40 AM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; it sounds like you have a quitter on
your hands. plain and simple.<br /><br />it shouldn't matter how bad the
school it-you don't quit. <br /><br />look up the story about the girl
from billings, montana that sat with michelle obama last night. <br
/><br />now tell me your child isn't a quitter. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="e32523b9875ba405e52fccb3e05e3789"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">open your eyes</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 26, 2011 7:06 AM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; To whatever...Sorry not a liar. Just
because a student has good grades means they have no reason to drop out?
You're saying that you have to be struggling and failing to DROP OUT??
Some children don't do well or like a natural or what most people would
consider a normal classroom experience. Some children don't have to be
taught the same way as others and can become very bored or just not want
to or need to listen to the teachers, and WHS doesn't give many options.
And lets look at some of the young girls that have gotten pregnant while
attending WHS, yes the school will try to do anything to get these young
adults to DROP OUT!!! not because they are bad students,or struggling
students but because they are pregnant and it doesn't look good. Things
happen and life happens but these children need an education. So, please
don't think it is always the &quot;BAD kids&quot; or &quot;Struggling
kids&quot; that all &quot;DROP OUT&quot; but when you have
teachers,administration telling you to drop out, drop out, drop out it
really doesn't make you want to stay...These students don't have guidance
counselors that will give them the time of day, unless you are a certain
ELITE few. Sorry you don't believe it, maybe your children haven't graced
the halls of WHS or they don't pay attention around them, cause it does
happen... &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="3b88086bbbc51bbfc3c2eadb8585eb32"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">Whatever</span> wrote on <span class="simpleblog-
date">Jan 25, 2011 1:42 PM:</span><div class="simpleblog-response">&quot;
Open you eyes, your child dropped out with the lowest grade being a
97%??? You are either a liar or a fool. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="a4afebcfb30ad0272c7caedddc8e2e7f"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">Randy</span> wrote on <span class="simpleblog-
date">Jan 25, 2011 12:44 AM:</span><div class="simpleblog-
response">&quot; One thing the article does Not say is how the rate is
calculated. The numbers can be totally skewed if they include students
that move out of the area/state prior to graduating and may actually
graduate in another location. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="74c49de57f5ccc8a3e2477d1c2c40213"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">open your eyes</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 24, 2011 12:27 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; I see that someone wants to put blame
on the parents. REALLY??? Have your children walked the halls of WHS if
so, they must be the ELITE ones? Children are told not just by the
administration, but the teachers as well, if you don't like it here drop
out. If it's too hard DROP OUT! They are even told that they(the school
administration) will help them get there GED. I went to WHS, and was
proud of being an alumni, until I moved back. I had heard what was going
on, but I thought maybe that was just the few that I had heard it from,
until my own children went to WHS. Yes, one dropped out lowest class
grade was 97% it wasn't that my child was struggling academically, it was
the teachers/school. I also have had one graduate from WHS which could
not stand school at WHS and couldn't believe how the teachers and staff
treat the students. My children moved here from an inner city and have
never seen this or such a high drop out rate.They were used to teachers
that would do anything to help students graduate. Go figure. Open up your
eyes Williston it's not the outsiders most of the administration and
teachers are alumni from WHS, and it is them that are doing this to our
children not the parents. I have family that has never left Williston and
there feelings about WHS is that it's definately not the same school we
attended. SAD!!! Just think if you went to work everyday and your boss
tells you daily &quot;Just quit&quot; are you going to keep working or
maybe find another job. They have finally opened up an alternative
school, but of course it isn't for all high school students only those
that are 16+ by than it's too late they are of drop out age, and trying
to get them back can be impossible. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="3023795ad66449ff3fbb13217725def1"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">Love the armchair critics</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 24, 2011 12:04 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; Are you kidding me? The blame for the
high drop out rate does not lie solely with the schools or our education
system. Where are the parents and their support system at home??? Too
many kids these days have never been taught what hard work is. If
something gets hard - they quit. And it's not totally their fault
because they have parents who allow it. I have 2 teenagers and dropping
out of school will never be an option in our home. And i am disgusted to
say that I see too many parents these days not doing their jobs of
raising hard-working, responsible kids. Lay off the schools until you
make sure you as a parent are doing your job first. &quot;</div><br
/></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="a802ec3c3b6625eb8e18ae21da829f02"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">BjB</span> wrote on <span class="simpleblog-
date">Jan 23, 2011 8:40 AM:</span><div class="simpleblog-response">&quot;
How about the school system.....how about the principal....or even better
yet....HOW ABOUT THE PARENTS!!!!!????!?!? &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="75e541f27e56c97c6767e1f650483ef1"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">Really</span> wrote on <span class="simpleblog-
date">Jan 20, 2011 9:37 PM:</span><div class="simpleblog-response">&quot;
A rate that reduces from 780 to 701 is an improvement really!!! That's a
lot of children leaving each year! Maybe the school system should take a
look at why these kids are leaving and ask them and then make some
changes from within! I grew up in this town and am not proud to say it!
The school system is pathetic! &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-2">
<a name="694eed6bade8871de953fdda9811c269"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">Thats BAD</span> wrote on <span
class="simpleblog-date">Jan 20, 2011 6:26 PM:</span><div
class="simpleblog-response">&quot; Don't you think the &quot;Principal of
the Year&quot; should be able to do better than this? What a farce! I
guess a 28% dropout rate is better than bad test scores? This is truly
concerning for this town. &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
<div class="simpleblog-comment-1">
<a name="a344b7858bb21287cd11525359a51a5c"></a><p><span
class="simpleblog-name">Wow</span> wrote on <span class="simpleblog-
date">Jan 20, 2011 1:30 PM:</span><div class="simpleblog-response">&quot;
Wow, I knew it was bad, but a nearly 30% dropout rate? I guess this may
reflect on the quality of people (outsiders) that have moved into the
area over the years? Incredible. I hope I leave Williston before my kids
get to High School. Talk about inner city! &quot;</div><br /></p>
</div>
</div>
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P.O. Box 1447<br/>
Williston, ND<br/>
58802<br/><br/>

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14 W. 4th St.<br/>
Williston, ND 58801<br/><br/>

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