Summer school graduates leaving school as others return

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - From the sounds of the auditorium at Lee High School, you can tell the folks inside are doing something special.

It's graduation in August as nearly sixty high school students graduate from the Montgomery Public School's summer school program.

It may be a few months later than some, but it's no doubt just as meaningful for Jasmine Harris.

"I feel good about myself," says Harris.

Jasmine is the first grandchild on her mom's side to graduate high school.

She says she wouldn't have it any other way.

"I want to go to college.   I want to do something with my life.   I want a career."

But for many students that dream is harder to reach.

Montgomery County's graduation rate sits at 76%, but it's still not where adminstrators want it to be.

It's new superintendent Barbara Thompson's first time graduating students in Montgomery.

She says she wants more kids walking across that stage.

"I think the excitement that you saw in that audience today proves that people really want their children to graduate high school and they're committed to that.   So we just need to find a way to connect and keep more kids in school."

Jasmine's one of nearly 100 others graduating this summer.

She says it might have been easy to quit, but that just isn't her.

"I just kept pushing myself, and prayin' and I made it!"

High school administrators say they're working to do away with the summer school program.

They're starting a new program this year called credit recovery.   It allows students to try to make up failing grades during the normal school year so they can graduate in May.

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