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High School Graduation Dreams Become Reality For More Baltimore County Students

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RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ)– New numbers released this week show a big boost in the state’s graduation rate. And one county is seeing its largest graduating class in the last four years.

Gigi Barnett explains school leaders turned to a number of programs to get students to graduation day.

For some Maryland high schoolers, graduation day is a dream. But for a large portion of them, it’s a reality. That’s according to new numbers released this week.

And Baltimore County is touting the largest graduation class it’s seen in four years.

Students say there are several reasons why.

“Determination and motivation we have in our school,” said Alexis Knox.

“We have a lot of teachers who stay after school and help children with their homework and whatnot,” said Chris Mannings.

“The SAT is really important. It’s basically your invitation into colleges. So, the fact that they really get involved with students and help them out has improved the graduation rates here,” said Brianna Mellerson.

That’s what students at Randallstown High School told Gov. Martin O’Malley on Friday when he visited the school.

Randallstown has seen a dramatic turnaround, not only in its graduation numbers but the dropout rate.

Sometimes the teachers make home visits, encouraging students to get back to class.

“If we gotta give them that extra call or even go to their houses and pull them out of there, but by any means, every kid needs a high school diploma. Every kid,” a school administrator said.

Over the last four years, 90 percent of Randallstown High School seniors are putting on caps and gowns. That’s up by 10 percent, outpacing much of the county and state.

“Doing the things that work, so our kids get through high school and on to college if they choose. That’s what it’s all about.”

Twenty-one of Baltimore County’s 24 high schools saw a boost in graduation between 2012 and 2013.

Overall, Baltimore County’s graduation rate is a little more than 86 percent. Statewide, it’s 85 percent.

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