Vicksburg Warren School District making progress on dropout rate

Published 8:07 pm Friday, November 13, 2015

Last month the National Dropout Prevention Network presented the Vicksburg-Warren School District with the Crystal Star Award in San Antonio, Texas, for its work in implementing The Leader in Me, an initiative based on the popular book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen Covey.

The award is given for excellence in dropout recovery, intervention and prevention, which fits with the initiative’s purpose to teach children habits to make them more successful in school and more prepared for after-school life.

While it’s no secret that Vicksburg Warren School District’s dropout rate isn’t stellar (partially due to odd, ever-changing calculations from the Mississippi Department of Education), others around the nation are taking note that the school district is doing something about it.

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The Leader In Me is a program that will solve a myriad of problems as these elementary students grow older, and this should help prevent an untold number of students from dropping out in the future.

A Chamber education committee member when The Leader In Me started in Warren County as well as VWSD Board of Trustees President, Bryan Pratt said the students, teachers and administration deserve as much credit as anyone because they want to want the initiative to work for it to be a success.

“It’s transforming the culture of the schools so that students really know they are responsible for their futures,” he said.

This is exactly what is needed for children for children to be able to make the decisions necessary to stay in school down the road.

Pratt said while dropout rates in VWSD still aren’t where he would like to see them, the National Dropout Prevention Network took notice to things being implemented in the district.

“The Dropout Prevention Network realized the things we’re doing are setting the groundwork for when these children are in high school that they’re not going to be dropouts,” he said. “That they’re going to have the tools to cope with the challenges they have, whatever it is, we’re giving them the tools to be successful.”

We tip our hats to you, Vicksburg Warren School District, for making a difference in these children’s lives and in our community.