“The first thing, as a superintendent, is to make sure your system can work,” said Randolph.
So far, Somerset’s dropout program seems to be working well.
“We were trying to do this before (the new law) even went into place,” said Randolph. “ We were trying to give a viable option so (students) don’t have to drop out.”
To Cornett, it’s all about reaching the students and helping them understand that there are other options besides dropping out — a move that has been proven to lead to low-paying jobs and a shut-out from other, more specialized jobs, all of which require high school and post-secondary degrees.
“Our goal is to educate them, make sure we’re meeting standards,” said Cornett. “We’ve got to educate them, we’ve got to let them know we love them and we care for them.
“We still fail,” added Cornett. “I’m not reaching all of them. But we think for the most part we’ve saved some kids.”