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By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

105 graduate from WIHS

Struggling students get their reward

 

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

Ryan Rodriguez, graduate speaker for Wasco Independence High School.

There are three types of students who attend Wasco Independence High School, Principal Martin Lonza said as the school prepared its commencement ceremony for 105 graduates: students who have fared poorly at larger schools, adults who are seeking their high school diploma, and students studying from home.

The first type of student, he said, are those who come to Independence High because they've fallen behind in their coursework, had spotty attendance "and need a smaller, more focused environment to succeed." Many of these students have experienced gaps in attendance, failed multiple courses, lost interest in school, are parents or had discipline issues. "Many simply perform better in a school that can focus more on them as individual," he said.

"There are as many reasons for placing a student at WIHS as there are students," Lonza said. The criteria are simple: "Is a student at risk of not completing high school, and are they better served in the WIHS environment?"

A second group of students are those in the adult education program.

"This program is primarily for any person over the age of 18 who has not yet received a high school diploma or needs to learn English," Lonza said. "The students who graduate from the program have now completed the requirements for a diploma."

The third most common type of student are those in the independent study program.

Toni DeRosa | The Shafter Press

Speaker Lucio Rivera

"These students are working from home and receiving their instruction and assignments on a weekly basis from a designated instructor at WIHS or WHS," Lonza said. "Students enter the ISP primarily for medical reasons, a special education placement, an undeniable need to work or are parenting minors. These students are technically Wasco High students who are receiving services managed through Independence High."

There are also two students who transitioned from continuation or independent study to the adult education program at the end of their senior year, he said. "They are graduating through the adult education program."

Lonza added that all three programs were to participate in the WIHS ceremony on Wednesday night at the WHS football field. Each graduate could only bring two guests and families had to maintain the required social distancing.

The graduates were to be presented in the following order: Wasco Independence High (continuing education), Wasco Adult School (adult education) and Wasco Independent Study.

 

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