Personal success is measured on an internal scale -- a criterion of sorts that varies from person to person. It involves intrinsic motivation steamrolling toward individual desires and goals. Educational success, however, involves adhering to governing standards: completing coursework in a timely and accurate manner, earning passing grades to pass a set number of classes, and even creating a post-secondary plan. Many times, when students fall short of these requirements, they will get discouraged and “shut down.” Then, they get further behind. Their failure exacerbates the already lacking intrinsic motivation. With Winder-Barrow High School's Grad Track, students falling in this category receive help from a dedicated support team vested in students’ personal and educational success with the belief that the two are inextricably connected.
WBHS Grad Track encourages students to reach their full potential through academic support, guidance with time management, and a feeling of family. Once per nine weeks, grad track students receive “good news” cards and doughnuts to celebrate academic improvement and/or success. Good news cards show students that we pay attention to both major successes AND small gains achieved over the quarter. For grad track candidates, “success” does not always mean passing all four classes at the semester mid-term, but progress is recognized when students learn to utilize our support and make notable academic gains. For example, a grade improvement of 20 to 60 would be a reason to celebrate!
All students experience ebbs and flows of success during each grading period, and of course the successes materialize at the end of each nine weeks when students receive report cards. Unfortunately, some students, even with additional support, do not experience the educational success the team has worked diligently to achieve. In such cases, good news cards simply serve as words of encouragement to inspire students to continue working hard. In addition, the cards remind students that someone notices them and cares about them. We are now at the halfway point in the semester, and NOW is the time when students can choose to shut down or rise to the occasion and succeed. There is certainly demanding work ahead, but the Grad Track team believes every student can encounter educational success.
We are proud of our students who are on the “Grad Track.” A Grad Track student has either failed one or more academic classes and/or is behind in credits needed for graduation with their cohort class. Graduation Specialists at all three Barrow County School System (BCSS) high schools support students who meet these qualifications.