KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — In 2009, local community leaders and educators began a discussion about what could be done in the school corporations serving Kosciusko County to reduce the number of high school dropouts. At the time, the collective graduation rate between the schools was about 75 percent.
Gradway, then called Kosciusko County Educational Development, was born. The program brought graduation and success coaches to junior high and high school students who were struggling in school and who were identified by school personnel as those who might not graduate without intervention.
Since its inception, Gradway’s programs have served 1,400 students, many through early intervention in lower junior high and the early years of high school. Of the high school seniors served by the program, 196 have graduated (84 percent) and the overall graduation rate for the county has risen 16 percent.
The program, which serves students in the Tippecanoe Valley, Warsaw, Wawasee and Whitko school corporations, recently released a video highlighting student success stories. That video can be seen here.
Currently, the Dekko Foundation is matching any new gifts to the program. Those gifts can be made online and are tax-deductible.