Early release to be DHS carrot
De Soto High School principal David Morford has another carrot to wave for his students next year.
On May 5, the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education approved 4-0 to allow early dismissal from Friday seminar at De Soto High for students who are performing well in their classes and on state assessments. Board members Larry Meyer, Jim Thomas and Randy Johnson were absent.
"It's having a carrot for those kids that are really doing the things they are supposed to do," Morford said. "Our goal is number one to motivate the students to do well."
Morford said students in programs such as literacy training also would be allowed to leave early if the teacher determines they are performing well.
"The advantage is it limits our number of kids in seminar and it allows teachers to work with kids one on one," he said. "This early release could be a real carrot for us in these extra programs that we are trying to do."
Board president Janine Gracy questioned how students who were released early but rely on bus transportation would benefit from the program.
"We are setting up alternate activities for them in the gymnasium or in the commons," Morford said.
Board member Don Clark said he believed Morford that the early release program would work because of the success seen by offering incentives, like a day off school, to students who perform well on the state assessments.
In 2006, 48.4 percent of De Soto High students met or were above state standards in math and 74.5 percent met or were above state standards in reading. After implementing an incentive program, scores went up. Last year, 83.3 percent of students scored proficient or above in math and 92.2 percent scored proficient or above in reading.
May 2 was the rewarded day off for students who performed at proficient or better on their state assessments and Morford said 220 students were excused from school.