Our View: Ups & Downs - Guilford County Schools graduation rate

Aug. 16, 2013 @ 03:31 AM

THUMBS UP to Guilford County Schools for continued upward movement in the district’s high school graduation rate. The district set a record with an 86.2 percent graduation rate for 2013, up from 84.5 percent last year and 74 percent in 2006 when the state began calculating rates in the current 4-year cohort manner. The district’s 86.2 percent bested this year’s statewide average of 82.5 percent and also the averages of five of the state’s other largest school districts. There’s still work to do, however, says Superintendent Mo Green. The district’s goal is a 90-percent graduation rate.

THUMBS UP also to High Point Central High for its record-setting graduation rate of 84.5 percent, which was a jump of 6.9 percentage points from last year’s 77.6 percent rate. That success can be linked to a program Principal Bob Christina began last year to focus on students who may need extra encouragement and guidance toward graduation. Twenty groups of five students were matched with school staffers who mentored the students and advised them on a variety of school and personal matters. Several area high schools had rates of 90 percent or above: Southwest Guilford 92.1; Wheatmore 91.1; Trinity 90.9; Ragsdale 90.3; Middle College at GTCC-High Point 100; Penn-Griffin School for the Arts 100; and the Academy at Central High School 100.

THUMBS UP to the Guilford County Department of Public Health for staying on top of the animal rabies situation throughout the county. Department officials are alerting the media almost immediately when cases arise so we can get the precautionary word out to the public. As of Wednesday, 15 rabies cases had been confirmed this year. The last one as of Wednesday was a cat found on Drake Road in Greensboro that had bitten one person. The cat also had kittens that could have been exposed to rabies, too. So officials are telling people not to handle stray kittens in the area. Of course, not handling stray cats, dogs or any stray animal anywhere is a good strategy for avoiding trouble.

THUMBS DOWN to any pet owner in Guilford, Randolph, Davidson and Forsyth counties — anywhere for that matter — who does not have their pet vaccinated to protect it was getting rabies. North Carolina law requires that all domestic pets, whether they are keep indoors or outdoors in a fenced area, that are four months old or older be vaccinated. The health department sponsors numerous clinics for obtaining low-cost rabies shots. There’s no legitimate excuse for not getting one for your pet.