The staff is still walking around in a haze. We have Junior move-up day today, and we still have to clean out our building, so reality hasn’t quite set in. We started out this year with a senior class of 135 and yesterday we graduated 126 of them. The school District of Philadelphia has a graduation rate of around 50% and we graduated a little over 90% of the students who came to us at the beginning of the year with enough credits to leave by the end. Not only that, 100% of our graduating class has been accepted to college. The received about $305,000 in scholarships. One got a full ride to LaSalle. Wow! It seems like a lot more of an accomplishment when it’s written out, especially when you know what’s behind those numbers.
Our kids are the throw-aways. We have the kids that the City of Philadelphia has given up on. They’ve been kicked out of their neighborhood schools, dropped out because of pregnancy, street life, or laziness, or remanded to our custody by the courts. No one wanted them – in many cases, not even their parents. But we took them, worked with them, counseled them, and taught them. This year we’ve lost students, parents, and staff members, but we gained strength and courage. What happened yesterday was a big deal, and nobody knows it but us! When we say, “No child left behind,” we actually mean it!