District officials go door-to-door encouraging dropouts to return to school

Published: Sep. 29, 2012 at 9:28 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 9, 2012 at 9:28 PM EDT
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School officials go door-to-door to encourage dropout students to return to school
School officials go door-to-door to encourage dropout students to return to school

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Cynthia Wilson is in charge of Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5.  She spent Saturday making house calls.

She was looking for her high school students who have not shown up to class this school year.

"We're interested in Kadijah coming back to school," Wilson told a mother. "She hasn't returned yet. We want her to come back so that she can finish her education and graduate."

Saturday's "Reach Out for Dropouts" is a program she started two years ago.  40 volunteers broke up into teams looking for 35 absent students. Two of those students are in middle school.

"We really don't want to waste a whole lot of time because as time passes, it gets harder and harder to catch up," said district Dropout Prevention Coordinator Watson Cleckley.

The school district's dropout rate is 2.5%, slightly lower than the state's average at 3%.

"We're all over Orangeburg this morning going door to door and trying to get our kids back," Wilson told one parent who answered the door Saturday.

The mother told Wilson her daughter is behind in her grade level and is considering a GED.

Wilson explained absent students have options with the district. They can complete evening or online courses to get caught up.

She hoped her pitch worked.

"Just give us another opportunity," Wilson told the mother. "We hope we'll see her Monday morning."

As she left, the mother thanked her for trying to help the students.

"If I have to go get them wherever they are and bring them back, that's what I'm here for," said Wilson

Wilson and her colleagues had some success Saturday. School officials said six kids re-enrolled and will be back in school Monday.

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