Graduation rate expected to rise at MHS

The Marshalltown Community School District gave a snapshot of where it is right now as far as a student graduation rate projection for the end of the 2012-13 school year at Monday’s school board meeting.

The district has a target goal of an 89 percent graduation rate, though that is pretty lofty.

Lisa Koester, director of human resources with the school district, said it appears just 10 percent of students in the 11th and 12th grades are deficient in credits earned.

Koester said it’s too early to predict how that translates into a graduation rate for the spring, but it is positive news. The fact that student attendance at MHS is up 1 percent this year to 92.5 percent and suspensions are down also adds to the optimistic feeling, since more students are in class.

“Everything I’ve seen looks like it’s moving in the right direction for increasing our graduation rate,” Koester said.

Marshalltown High School Principal Aiddy Phomvisay said those students who are behind in credits are put on a watch list and monitored by administrators. The expected upward trend in the graduation rate was welcome news to the school board.

“What we’re doing is working,” said Board President Sherm Welker.

In other action, the board approved the Donna Hoop Memorial Scholarship, in honor of the Marshalltown woman who passed away recently. The Hoop family will honor her by giving away a $1,000 yearly scholarship to an MHS senior who moves on to college.

“They’ve always been so gracious to our school and our community,” Phomvisay said of the Hoop family.

The board approved the retirement of Dave Holdiman, social studies teacher and football coach at MHS, effective at the end of this school year.

“We want to thank Dave for his service to the district,” Welker said.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on Feb. 18 at district offices.