Commitment to Graduate


Class of 2017 students sign the Commitment to Graduate banner in the school library during Freshman Orientation on August 21, 2013.

Have you seen a teacher, administrator, counselor, or staff member wearing a light green t-shirt? If you take the time to read those shirts you find they say C2G, raising more questions than answers. What is C2G and why do we have it?

In order to learn all I could about Commitment to Graduate (C2G), I spoke with our own Vice Principal Mrs. Connell. Vice Principal Connell learned about C2G when she and Student Services Coordinator Mrs. Nadler attended a workshop last spring. Educator Lisa Spain designed this concept/initiative.

“While conducting research on graduation rates as [Spain] was working on her doctorate, she discovered one very important thing: schools do not do a great job educating the students, parents, and community on the importance of education. She began working with schools, promoting the importance of a good education and why education is important to students. Commitment to Graduate became the core of her initiatives, helping students set educational goals for themselves, and involving parents, teachers, and the community to help them achieve these goals” explained Connell.

Prairie Ridge has a very good, high, number of people each year who graduate, so why C2G? Connell responds, saying “Good is not perfect! We want every student to graduate from high school with his or her class. We should expect nothing less, and a student should expect nothing less of himself or herself!”

Here at PR we are going to embrace and develop traditions with celebrations of commitment. Mrs. Connell, what does that mean? “As I mentioned before, we want to incorporate C2G into traditions that we already have at PR (Freshman Orientation, Freshman Seminar), but we also want to create ways that we can celebrate the achievements of all of our students. After the PLAN test, the freshmen signed a Commitment to Graduate card. It’s something that they can put in their wallet or purse as a reminder to their commitment to themselves. They will be setting specific educational goals for themselves each year they are in high school, and identifying who those people are in their lives that will help them accomplish these goals. Our goal is for the Commitment to Graduate theme be a thread that will be part of their entire high school career.”

Looking around PR Mrs. Connell shows us how different parts of the school are implementing the Commit to Graduate philosophy.

Our teachers are displaying their diplomas in their classrooms. “They want all students to know that we are in this together.”

The Student Services department wants students to be more aware of the opportunities awaiting them beyond high school, and is working to create a path get students there. “The counselors have been designing a curriculum for all grade levels to help them achieve their post-high school goals. They continue to meet with students individually and in small groups. They are creating “seminars” for both sophomores and juniors in order to get into classrooms and better help all students. They have also designed a curriculum for parents to let them know how they can contribute to the success of their students.”

And what can students do to prepare for life after high school?

A logical first step is to work with your counselor and the College and Career Center’s Mrs. Steiner. Outside her office the wall says “the road to your future starts here.” How do you approach these people for the first time,  start that conversation and get that relationship started (something this reporter has been avoiding)?

“With Mrs. Steiner, the best thing to do is go into the College and Career Center when you have a free period. Introduce yourself and let her know what your interests are, let her know a little about yourself, and she will take it from there. She is awesome!!” Connell explained.

Can students help one another, with these as well? “What I love seeing at this stage of C2G is that our Link Crew Leaders have been supporting our freshmen, both at orientation and during the Freshman Seminar classes. The next step is creating a design so that students can help one another achieve their goals they set each year.”

As you can see there are many resources around here to help you,from the College and Career Center, academic the Numeracy and Literacy centers, and more. Also don’t forget we have a new program this year in the library, the Academic Assistance, where throughout the week different teacher of various subject are in the library for you to meet with and get some extra help in a subject. Don’t be afraid to seek out any one of these great resources.

There you have it from the vice principal herself: a commitment by all students to work on graduating high school, to plan backward with the end goal in mind guiding all your major decisions during your high school years. EVERYONE is here to help, support, and encourage you in your journey to success.

News reporter Tom Brokaw put it best when he said, “You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.”