October is National Dropout Prevention Month, a time to focus on increasing awareness of the long-term effects on students, the economy, and society when students drop out of school. National Dropout Prevention Month challenges our nation to become better informed about how to prevent students from dropping out of school.
The New Albany School District is committed to student achievement, student attendance, and dropout prevention this school year and in the coming years.
To promote awareness and better prepare for putting dropout prevention measures in place, a team from the National Dropout Prevention Center visited New Albany High School (NAHS) in the spring of 2017 for the purpose of interviewing staff and collecting data. This team prepared a report for the high school which offered ideas and strategies for improving the dropout rate.
Dr. Mark Wilson, who is considered an expert in dropout prevention, conducted a two-day session with school administrators and counselors on specific strategies each school could use in their dropout prevention plans.
“Our district dropout prevention team has worked very hard to create a dropout prevention plan for our district,” said Superintendent Lance Evans. “This is an ongoing process where our team meets on a regular basis to report on progress and seek input.”
Evans credited the high school for their work with students on credit recovery, as well as the work the elementary and middle schools are doing to insure that dropout prevention starts in the early years of a student’s education.
John Ferrell, NAHS Principal, explained that several students graduated in May 2017 because of the credit recovery opportunities that had been made available to them. He also noted that students that are juniors and seniors have been identified that are behind a grade level or more in school. The counselors are working with these students on an individual basis to develop a plan on completing credit recovery courses so that they can graduate on time with their age level peers.
The decision to drop out of school is not due to one single factor. It is the result of a process that often begins years before the actual event. Communities that understand the life-long impact for students who drop out of school and that work together to support at-risk students, however, can help decrease the likelihood that students will drop out of school. Begun early, effective prevention initiatives are the result of community-wide efforts that involve families, businesses, faith-based organizations, and schools.
National Dropout Prevention Month encourages public, private and nonprofit entities to raise awareness of the issue and encourage all students to stay in school for the brighter future it means.
The Alliance for Excellent Education reported that, on average, non-graduates earn $8,000 less per year than high school graduates; rely more heavily on public health services; are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system; are more likely to rely on various sources of public assistance and welfare; often experience quality-of-life challenges as a result of lower income levels and higher rates of public dependence; and are less likely to vote, have poorer health, and have shorter life expectancies than graduates.
“We understand that dropout prevention is a commitment and partnership between the schools, community, businesses, and families,” Evans emphasized. “We are working hard to make sure that the schools are working hard to increase our graduation rate and lower the number of dropouts in the New Albany School District.”
Maggie Jo Everett, a sophomore at New Albany High School, participated in the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine from July 22-30 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Outstanding high school students from across the nation took part in this unique career development opportunity. The forum sessions were held in nine cities across the United States and introduced young scholars to the many challenges and career options in the field of medicine.
Throughout the nine-day program, students were introduced to emerging issues in public health, medical ethics, research, and general practice. Site visits to medical schools and clinical facilities exposed the next generation of medical professionals to the real world of medicine. A highlight of the forum was a simulation that enabled students to test their knowledge as they triaged injured patients in a mass casualty disaster scenario.
Students who attended the forum were nominated by teachers and guidance counselors, based on their demonstrated academic excellence, leadership potential, and interest in medicine.
“The program provides an important behind-the-scenes perspective on medical careers,” said Jan A. Sikorsky, Ph.D., Vice President of Education for NYLF Medicine. “This is a critical time for high school student to begin exploring their career paths, just prior to immersing themselves in college coursework.”
NYLF Medicine is part of the Envision family of programs, which enable students of all ages to explore their interest and experience learning beyond the classroom. Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students in more than 145 countries, with programs designed to help students develop the leadership, scholarship, and career skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive college and career landscape.
Students enrolled in most courses at the New Albany School of Career and Technical Education take a state test each year. The MS-CPAS2 (Mississippi Career Planning and Assessment System, Edition 2) is the test given to students in career and technical education programs. The assessment is based on the career and technical curriculum taught in the classroom throughout the year.
Each year, career and technical programs are ranked individually with all programs throughout the state and rankings are based on assessment results. Rankings for the 2016-2017 school year were released on May 18.
Bert Anderson who teaches Agriculture Science classes said that the students are exposed to a wide array of experiences in the classroom with instruction, assessments, and hands-on projects and it is preparing them for when they enter the work force or move on to a college setting.
The New Albany School of Career & Technical Education had nineteen areas tested. Of those tested, nine were ranked in the top ten and fifteen were ranked in the top 15 in the state.
Those programs ranking in the top ten include: Business Fundamentals (6th); Engineering II (10th); Marketing (2nd); Concepts of Agriculture (7th); Agriculture Animals (8th); Agriculture Environment (1st); Architechture/Drafting (5th); Construction Core (10th); Health Science Core (10th).
Also ranking in the top fifteen in the state were: Automotive II, Agriculture Plants, Carpentry, Digital Media Technology, Early Childhood I, and Health Sciences II.
“Our students work hard preparing for the CPAS test all year long,” said Alison Moore, Business Instructor. “It’s always exciting when the rankings come out, and we get to see how well our students did compared to other students across the state.”
John Ferrell, Director, explained that there was some worry that there might be a decline in the CPAS scores because of the heavy emphasis that the school placed on Work Keys certification this year. “Our teachers stepped up to the challenge and responded with another great year of test scores, as well as excelling with competitions and the Work Keys program,” Ferrell said.
The following awards and scholarships were presented at the Awards Ceremony held at New Albany High School on May 2.
University of Mississippi: Meg Bramlett, Mary Day, Sarah Gaines, Sam Hickey, Jacob McGregor, Perry McKinney, Claireese Pannell, Kaitlyn White
Mississippi State University: Cody Baker, Sam Cagle, Cecilia Garcia, Tianna Graham, Stacy Hernandez, Daisy Huerta, Racheal McCullough, Madisyn Rainwater
William Carey University: David Sizemore
Millsaps College: Natalie Pullman
Delta State University: Alli Hodges, Karlie Topper
Itawamba Community College: Cynthia Betancourt, Boone Faulkner, Dean Garrett, Chloe Lang, Claireese Pannell, Joe Rainey, Olivia Thompson
Blue Mountain College: Emily Blackwell, Eli Jackson, Kaitlyn Cavender
Middle Tennessee State: Jack Cooper
Alcorn State University: Quiana Scott
University of South Carolina: Elise Dunnam
Northwest Mississippi Community College: Valencia Jones, Chelsey Joyner
BNA Bank Scholarships & Awards:
Scholarships-Sam Hickey & Mackenzie Armstrong
Awards-Stacy Hernandez & Kaitlyn White
U.S. Marine Corps Awards:
Tianna Graham-Academic Excellence
Junior Auxiliary of New Albany Scholarship: Mackenzie Armstrong
Marshuan Braxton Scholarship: Tianna Graham
Lisa Mitchell Green & Growing Educational Scholarship: Carley Adams
American Legion Awards
Pottery Henry Lowery Good Citizenship-Pierre Lenoir & Stacy Hernandez
Daughters of the American Revolution Awards
Certificate of Award for Outstanding Work in American History-Sarah Kathryn Harris
DAR Good Citizenship Award-Pierre Lenoir
NAACP Scholarship: Tianna Graham, Mackenzie Armstrong, Pierre Lenoir
Tamara Waldrop Top Dawg Award for Outstanding Character: Pierre Lenoir
Woodman of the World Award: Eli Jackson
David Skinner Scholarship: Jacob McGregor
Troy L. Garrett Memorial Scholarship: Drew Welborn & Sam Hickey
Kiwanis Club Scholarship Award: Madisyn Rainwater, Pierre Lenoir, Mackenzie Armstrong, Madison Griggs
2017 Prudential President’s Volunteer Service Award: Tianna Graham
New Century Club Scholarship: Claireese Pannell
Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency Scholarship: Sarah Gaines
STAR Student Award: Sam Cagle
L.G. Balfour Award: Stacy Hernandez
Ernest Kennedy Memorial Award: Tianna Graham
ACT Award (Seniors Scoring 25 or above on the ACT): Cody Baker, Meg Bramlett, Jonah Condon, Boone Faulkner, Chelsey Joyner, Olivia Thompson, Karlie Topper, Jack Cooper, Cecilia Garcia, Stacy Hernandez, Sam Hickey, Claireese Pannell, Brady Payne, David Sizemore, Chandler Cochran, Sarah Gaines, Rachel McCullough, Drew Welborn, Caleb Vance, Emily Backwell, Jacob McGregor, Kaitlyn White, Sam Cagle, Mary Day, Elise Dunnam, Perry McKinney
Most Intellectual Girl: Mary Day
Most Intellectual Boy: Sam Cagle
New Albany Rotary Club Award: Madisyn Rainwater
Perfect Attendance: Emma Blakemore, Shannon Boyd, Anna Bullock, Pamela Conquest, Maggie Creekmore, Mary Day, London Erby, Auzinique Eubanks, Maggie Jo Everett, Molly Gafford, Adrian Garcia, Cameron Garner, Tianna Graham, Tabitha Greenwood, Dayton Hall, Randle Hamblin, Lauren Paige Hamilton, Precious Harris, Stacy Hernandez, Hunter Hodges, Nautia Howard, Savanna Johnson, Ashanti Jones, Clayton Ledbetter, Kesley Ledbetter, Sam McMillin, Ken Moody, Maggie Moore, Kylein Mullins, Claireese Pannell, Eli Parks, Christian Perez, Bryson Prather, Rachel Rainey, Kimberly Ramirez, Brittney Robinson, Aaron Scales, Gray Spencer
9th Grade: Maggie Moore
10th Grade: Meredith Prescott
11th Grade: Sanders Goode
12th Grade : Stacy Hernandez
School Spirit Award: Gray Spencer
Class Marshall Award: Sam Hickey