Bumps on the road to college

Compared to last years’ 86 percent of seniors who graduated from Ánimo Pat Brown, this year almost nine out of 10 current juniors and seniors are on track to graduation.

So far the juniors are one percent above last years’ graduating class and seniors are one percent below last years graduating class.

APB Principal Joshua Hartford said he expects 90 percent of seniors to graduate this year.

“We are sending home grade checks every week and requiring students to get them signed by their parents in order to get the family involved,” Hartford said.
This is expected to increase the graduation rate because now parents will know how their children progress week by week and can interfere if they are not satisfied with their grades, Hartford said.
Students struggle with English the most, this is why many of them are not on track to graduating, Hartford said.
Lauren Freeman, an English teacher at APB, said she believes that students not giving English a full effort is the reason why students don’t pass many of their English classes.
“I don’t think English is hard, it’s just that students need to put more effort and not give up easily,” Freeman said. Students need to get on track with finishing all their homework and assignments in order to maintain a passing grade.

Senior Emilio Valle is currently on track to graduating and said he believes teachers “make it seem hard but its not.”

Emilio’s main priority is passing exams because they make up a big part of his grade and doing poorly on his exams will cause his grade to drop, he said.

It’s actually fairly easy to maintain passing grades, all it takes is studying and paying attention in class, Emilio said.

Many students find something that drives them and keeps them moving forward.

For Emilio his future and his dads’ success are his motivation. Education has allowed his father to become successful and Emilio plans to follow his footsteps and graduate from college.
“Doing good now will benefit me in the future,” Emilio said.

Junior Henry Castillo said he is currently not on track to graduate, because he did not complete assignments in previous  years.

“I am trying to do my best to pass all my classes” he said.
Henry was able to pass the English part of the CAHSEE but failed the math portion by one point, he said.

The CAHSEE has never prevented a student from graduating at APB.

“As years go by, there’s less number of students who have to retake the CAHSEE in their junior and senior year, and so far they’ve ALL done it,” school counselor Leticia Reyes said.

Receiving a diploma is what many students hope for because it will not only motivate them to continue their education but it will also make them feel proud of what they have achieved.

There is still hope for students who are not on track to graduating because they have an opportunity to complete the requirements by attending APB for a fifth year.
“Some students can make it happen, but it requires full effort and motivation on behalf of the student” Reyes said.

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