There’s a slice of good news out of the Kansas City, Mo., school district, which has been in the news this year as it undergoes a major transformation that involves closing nearly half its schools.
The city’s Southeast High School, which was officially closed by the school board three years ago, is graduating its last class. And all 47 of them are walking across the stage.
A few dozen kids graduating may not seem like a big deal to most, but as Lee Hill Kavanaugh of The Kansas City Star explains in this story, with the help of a turnaround principal recruited from Texas, the dropout-prone school was able to change from a place known as “the principal eater” to a school where students were given individual attention and prepared for and encouraged to pursue postsecondary options.
Teachers, Kavanaugh writes, took such interest in students that they paid the $190 graduation fee for students who were too poor to afford it.
Be sure to check out the gallery by Star photographer Shane Keyser showing the school’s last days. The last graduating class of Southeast High walks across the stage Tuesday night.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.