Counties’ schools praised in report

Feb. 19, 2013 @ 05:37 PM

Last in a series

The 2012 State of the County Health report released last week by the Granville-Vance District Health Department points out that success in school has a direct impact on numerous economic and health issues, including the workforce, unintended pregnancies, substance abuse, delinquency, gangs and overall health.

“A key to being successful in life starts with being successful in school,” according to the report.

The report documents signs of progress in the four-year graduation rate for the two counties. In Vance County, the 2011-2012 graduation rate was 42.7 percent higher than in 2005-2006. In Granville County, it was 19.6 percent higher than in 2007-2008. However, neither county’s rate matched the rate for the state.

The report singled out Western Vance High School for its “extraordinary” progress in high school completion.

“Serving a high risk population, faculty and staff have worked together with students to nearly double the graduation rate since 2005-2006,” according to the report.

What’s not so good is that the 2011-2012 graduation rate for black students in Granville County was 18 percent lower than the state rate, and the graduation rate for Hispanic students in Vance County was 31.5 percent lower than the state rate.

A number of community programs have been developed to support the schools and parents in improving the success of students in school.

• The Judicial Attendance Council, begun in Vance in 2010 and in Granville in 2011, addresses the needs of families in violation of the N.C. Schools’ Compulsory Attendance Law. To date, about 40 children have been served in Vance and 25 in Granville.

• Teen Court holds trials twice a month to serve as a sentencing option for first offenders that commit misdemeanors. A real judge or attorney presides, but students take the roles of prosecutor, defense attorney and jurors. An offender who carries out the sentence pronounced by the jury will have no criminal record.

• Boys and Girls Clubs provide programs for elementary and middle school children. The Vance County program, started in 2007, is housed in the former Clark Street Elementary School and serves about 130 children per day. The Granville County club began in 2011 and serves about 80 children a day at the Mary Potter Middle School.

• Career & College Promise at Vance-Granville Community College offers three pathways for students to achieve success — college transfer courses, a career/technical education track and the Early College High School program.
More information about the biennial report can be obtained by calling either location of the health department, or by visiting online at gvdhd.org.

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.