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Just a few weeks ago, Marlin High School in Texas abruptly postponed its graduation ceremony, saying only a handful of its seniors had met the requirements to graduate.
The students’ plight made headlines, but they worked with school staff to get the credits and grades they needed back. And it has paid off: In an update, school officials say that due to the hard work of seniors, everyone will be graduating later this month.
“We are thrilled to announce that as of Thursday, June 8, 38 of 38 seniors have met all of the requirements for graduation as outlined by the Texas Education Agency,” Marlin ISD Superintendent Darryl Henson told NPR.
“It is a testament to the resilience our students, teachers and families have shown over the past two weeks,” Henson added.
« Now let’s see if it goes viral! » He he said in a celebratory tweetthe month after his school’s struggles garnered great interest.
« Graduation postponed, but not denied »
The new graduation date is June 22nd.
« It’s graduation delayed, but not denied, » Henson said KWTX television station. « I have a pure obligation to ensure completion. It’s not about trying to celebrate before we finish. We cross the finish line and then we can all celebrate together. »
The 38 graduates include 33 students in the school’s traditional program and five more in its alternative education program.
The good news is a reversal from last month, when a school district audit found just five seniors had met the requirements to earn a diploma. Many students and their families said they were surprised to learn that they failed to meet the state mandate of 90 percent attendance or fail to complete courses, while others failed tests and assessments.
« It’s exciting, » one parent told meeting with administrators held in the school auditorium. « Hopefully, ‘I graduate next week! I’m at Six Flags!' » she added, referring to a senior trip.
The Marlin school district is on the upswing, the official says
Announcing the students’ progress, Henson also said he will take on the role of high school principal in addition to his district duties.
Marlin is a small town southeast of Waco near the Brazos River. The most recent Texas school report card gave Marlin High School a « B » rating, a rating based on how it performs relative to other schools with similarly economically-matched student populations. The report states that nearly 99 percent of the 229 students enrolled at Marlin High are economically disadvantaged.
“Marlin ISD students will be held to the same high standard as any other student in Texas,” Henson said during last month’s meeting with parents.
Henson stressed the importance of supporting all of the school’s students and its teachers, while recognizing the challenges her district faces. Marlin ISD is about to emerge from a decade of entrenched problemsincluding losing accreditation at some point.
« We will be confident educators in this district, » Henson said, « because we have to come from a long way back. »