Crenshaw County Schools Rank #1 For Graduation Rates
High school graduation rates are up for Alabama, but one county in South Alabama takes the number one spot for the entire state.
Most high schoolers can't wait to walk across the graduation stage to get their diplomas, and in Crenshaw County, 96% of them did just that last year. Awarding the county with the highest graduation rating of any county in the state, and some credit that to the community as a whole.
Teachers, students, and parents all working together to help each child on an individual basis is what Crenshaw County teachers say has increased their county's graduation rate by 23% in just four years.
"We have that family atmosphere, and so because of that, I think a lot of the teachers are the 'mamas' for these students academically speaking. They are able to take these students one on one and make sure to make an extra effort to know where they are and that they don't fall through the cracks," says Starla Jones, an 11th and 12th Grade Math Teacher at Luverne High School.
The superintendent says they were also able to hire a graduation exam coach who would work with students individually on their weaknesses to help them achieve passing scores on the test, and she says getting to know the students made the biggest difference, "Some students don't learn the same way. And I got to know everyone of them and how they learned it. If they know that you care and you love them, they'll work for you," Courtney Shows, the Remediation Coach.
And current seniors, like Randall Sipper, say always being able to get extra help keeps them motivated, "If you need help with something or don't understand something they'll sit down with you on their free time, during breaks, or lunch if you get a chance, and they'll work with you and it really helps."
The teachers also say parental involvement and intervening early if they see a student falling behind keeps the graduation rates on the rise.
Besides ranking first among counties, The Crenshaw County School System ranks sixth in the state when you compare all the school systems.