Pascagoula school district celebrates high graduation rate - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula school district celebrates high graduation rate

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Next month, more than 400 high school students in the Pascagoula School District will walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich says the graduation rate has jumped by four percent since 2006.

"Someone raise their hand, and tell me what is one of the main characters in the book that we are discussing?" 

Maury Gusta is reading the a new book with his 4th graders at Gautier Elementary. 

"I make sure I do small groups, and I work one on one with my students," Gusta said. 

He knows extra time and effort are a must to keep these kids focused on education, especially since the state is ranked number 45 in the nation for high school graduation. 

"I always talk to my students to make sure they have a goal to want to graduate from high school," Gusta said. 

Schools Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich said the district has been doing a great job pushing education and success. 

"Over the last several years, our graduation rate has risen from 78 percent to 82 percent," Rodolfich said. 

Rodolfich feels his district is succeeding because teachers are dedicated. They are also using a four tier program, which helps kids on all levels better understand reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

"We have some children who come to us in kindergarten, who don't know their name, can't identify letters or colors." 

The district also spends thousands of dollars on technology tools, like computers and active boards. Extra tutoring session hours are also offered district-wide. 

"It comes down to having more time for children." 

Rodolfich still knows there is a lot of work to be done for his schools and neighboring districts to reach that 100 percent graduation rate. 

"We have a higher instance of poverty in Mississippi, and a higher instance of teenage pregnancy in Mississippi. It takes a lot of work and time." 

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