SPOKANE -- While schools across the country are struggling with graduation rates, test scores and fighting, Rogers High School in North Spokane is enjoying positive, measurable changes in the right direction.
Just a few years ago, the school’s gradation rate hovered around a dismal 50-percent. A new building, and a three year, $3.7 million grant helped improve the statistics.
The real power of change is change is coming from someone who thinks beyond the numbers.
Roger’s principal Laura Wyborney knew if she wanted to move the needle on the dismal graduation rate, to drive up test scores, and end school violence, a cultural shift needed to happen.
She started with a zero tolerance policy on fighting. Next, kids started school a half hour earlier than students at other schools. Freshmen and sophomores were no longer allowed off campus for lunch. And there was not m ore playing hooky for the afternoon -- once in school, students stay in school.
Academic expectations were also set. Wyborney believed every student could graduate and go on to some other form of education -- be it a 4-year university, a trade school, or the military. It didn’t matter where the kids decided to go, but students started to be expected to plan for their future, even if their pasts weren’t so pleasant.
Today, graduation rates at Rogers are nearing 85%.