Shelton-Mason County Journal - Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Cedar sets graduation, attendance goals


Gordon Weeks

Cedar High School students, from left, Miles Brownell, Caleb Lanning and Josie Holmgren on Monday shoot photographs of Oreos and milk to create an ad in their photography class.

Two-year-old Cedar High School, in the middle of its first school year on the Olympic College Shelton campus, has set attendance and graduation goals for its 100 students.

Cedar High Principal Amber Hosford detailed the school's improvement plan at the Shelton School Board's Feb. 23 meeting. By the end of the school year in June, the school seeks to have at least 70% of current seniors graduate.

After debuting all online in the fall of 2020 from the CHOICE High School building, Cedar High teachers are playing catch up, Hosford said.

"We have lots of learning gaps because of the pandemic," she said. "We know we have a lot of areas where we can improve."

School officials are also striving for student attendance to meet or exceed 80% by the end of the school year. Attendance the previous week was 77.8%.

"We can't educate the kids if they're not here, so we know attendance is really important," Hosford said. Students acutely feel the absence of others because they work

together on interdisciplinary and group projects, she said.

To help students graduate, Hosford said the school's strategies include monthly meetings with senior class advisors, students and their parents or guardians to review current graduation requirements, make plans to recover credits if necessary, to examine current course progress, and make plans following graduation.

Students are pleading with their parents for transportation so they can work with tutors after school, Hosford said.

The principal said the systems and structures in place to help improve attendance include daily personal phone calls to all students who are absent, interventions, small class sizes, and interdisciplinary classes with a focus on project-based learning.

Almost all of the Associated Student Body clubs are active, Hosford said. The groups gather at lunchtime, the students eating at classroom desks, so after-school transportation is not required to participate, she said.

At the same board meeting, CHOICE High School Principal Stacey Anderson said many fights are breaking out at her school. Hosford said no fights have occurred at Cedar, but "we have some social/emotional drama."


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