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Principal works hard to ensure his students return after spring break

Reported by: Sandra Gonzalez
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Updated: 4/13/2014 8:58 am

A turnaround high school is on high alert to keep attendance up. Getting students to return after spring break can be extremely challenging.

Chaparral High School became a turnaround school - getting special attention because of graduation rates - and spring break can make or break students.

Abi Morales is very focused on wearing a cap and gown.

"We're excited for spring break, but we're excited for the school year to end so we're just focusing our our grades and doing good through the rest of the school year," Morales said.

But some students, whether it's the sunshine or other circumstances, may not be coming back.

"They are so close to the end they are burnt out on coming to school, and they just get focused on other things other than finishing at that time, the weather change. Kids are interested in doing other things," said Principal Dave Wilson.

Sometimes parents even pull them out to work, because they family needs income. Wilson is doing all he can to combat this. He has three full-time employees devoted to making sure the kids are come to class from now until the end of the school year.

"They're calling the kids, they're calling home, they're calling relatives - anything they can do to get the kids here," Wilson said.

The school is educating dozens of single parents, at any given time has 20 pregnant students, but also has high student involvement in band and sports. Wilson hopes students can hang on make it through, which he says will impact generations to come.

He can count on Ra Bone Wesley to cross the finish line.

"I'm super excited. It's like starting a new life so it's like a rush," Wesley said.

The graduation rate has continued to increase, and Wilson says he continue working to keep that number on the rise.



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